Friday, November 25, 2005

George Best 1946-2005

I’m not British. I don’t support Manchester United. And I wasn’t even born when Best started to dazzle the world with his grace, style, determination, bravery, and mad skills on the pitch. But I do love soccer, and with that love comes the dream--the wish--that I could have witnessed one of the all-time greats perform. Even Pele stated that he thought Best was the greatest player he’d ever seen. Of course, Best agreed. Was he the greatest? I don’t know. He never won a World Cup title and his career was one wild rollercoaster ride once he departed Man U in 1973. And then there was his life off the pitch. When Spinal Tap keyboardist Viv Savage (David Kaff) proclaimed in the film, This is Spinal Tap, that his motto for living was to "Have a good time. . .all the time," he could have easily been parroting soccer legend George Best's motto as well. Best had a love of drink, women, fast cars, and burning out with flash style like the rockers that he was frequently compared to. One Portuguese journalist even proclaimed him "The Fifth Beatle.” Well . . . Best and everyone else it seems. Best also knew how to get the most mileage out of a quote. Here are a few of my favorites:

"I used to go missing a lot...Miss Canada, Miss United Kingdom, Miss World."

“He cannot kick with his left foot, he cannot head a ball, he cannot tackle and he doesn't score many goals. Apart from that he's all right.”
-- (his assessment of Manchester United's David Beckham)

“I spent a lot of money on booze, birds and fast cars. The rest I just squandered.”

I've stopped drinking, but only while I'm asleep.”

"In 1969 I gave up women and alcohol - it was the worst 20 minutes of my life."

Here are a few more links about the man and his fabulous career:

http://football.guardian.co.uk/obituary/0,16836,1650898,00.html

http://football.guardian.co.uk/gallery/0,8555,1647552,00.html

http://football.guardian.co.uk/obituary/0,16836,1651234,00.html

http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/4466944.stm

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/26/sports/soccer/26best.html

http://uk.sports.yahoo.com/fo/rodney/best.html

1 comment:

Lynda Rucker said...

Right, I think you just topped anything I was planning to write for a Best obituary. I'm just going to send people over to your site instead.

Rest in peace, George Best.