Top facts you need to know about The Legend, George Best
However, football is not all about his life, as his reckless style of play was also evident in his personal life. The “Fifth Beatle” audaciously spent his life with beautiful women and prestigious cars, and even though he struggled with addiction, he, as he wrote himself, felt “blessed” looking back at his whole life.
Much has been discussed about his soccer career, his personal life, and his death, but still, there are many amusing facts we think you may not know about George’s life.
In what follows, we attempt to review some of the facts we think you would enjoy knowing about “The Belfast Boy”.
Facts You Need to Know About George Best
Time to take a look at The Belfast Boy’s life:
The Northern Irish player was born in Belfast in a big family with four sisters and one brother. He loved his parents, even though he could not see them a lot as they both worked hard late in the evening. Although Georgie’s mother died as an alcoholic in 1978, she did not have the problem during his childhood and she just started drinking after George’s fame, just 10 years before her death. She was a loving mom and Georgie adored her.
Anyway, the young talented boy did not enjoy going to school during his childhood and that was how he came up with a funny plan to trick the school. In fact, in order to be sent home, he used to suck on a certain kind of sweets that made his throat go red. Creative! Huh?
As a Protestant, George had a tough time during his teenage years. The high school he attended to was in the middle of a Catholic area and students from other schools teased him. In order to avoid them, he used to wait down the road from the bus stop and run so that he can reach the bus just as it was taking off. This habit proved to be a good sprint training for him. This was just the beginning of his football career. We mentioned that he hated school and he also hated music lessons. That was the reason for him to prefer playing with the ball, even though he was skinny. He played for Cregagh Boys Club and ran by Bud McFarlane who always encouraged Georgie to continue playing soccer. In fact, it was McFarlane who talked with Bob Bishop, Manchester United’s chief scout in Northern Ireland and convinced him to arrange a special match for Georgie to see if he can perform in physical matches. Unaware of this arrangement, Georgie scored two goals and his side won the game 4-2 in that match. After a few days, Bishop met Georgie and his family in their house and invited him for a trial in Manchester United.
George Best was only 17 years old when he debuted for the “Red Devils” in The Football League First Division.
By the time he was 22, he was at the peak of his football career and had already won the league title, the European Cup, and the European Player of the Year Award. In 1968, “United Trinity”—Sir Bobby Charlton, George Best, and Denis Law—played an essential part to help Manchester United become the first-ever English club team to win. Sadly, it all gradually went downhill from then.
George Best played 37 matches for Northern Ireland and scored 9 international goals in 14 years. He is one of the most eminent football players, never played at a World Cup. He always regretted missing 1966 World Cup. Being knocked out by Albania, he watched his friends, including Bobby Charlton, perform in the tournament and becoming world champions.
George Best was indeed good looking. His long hair and unique style inevitably made him the perfect target for the commercial world. For many times he was invited to play in commercials for television and radio. The most famous one of these commercials was for the Egg Marketing Board and involved the line “E for b and be your B”, which represented “Egg for breakfast and be your Best”.
George Best had a niece named Ashleigh. She was born with hydrocephalus which is a condition in which the abnormal accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid pressures the skull. Georgie loved this little girl and described her as “always happy, always smiling”. She died in 1996, and her funeral was held on 22 May, coinciding with Georgie’s 50th birthday. He missed her funeral because he knew his sister and the rest of the family would rather him not to show up. Furthermore, he was already committed to appear on BBC television. He spent the night missing Ashleigh in tears.
George Best got married twice. Her first wife was the former English model and Playboy Bunnygirl, Angela McDonald Janes. They met at a party in Los Angeles in 1975. Georgie was immediately attracted to her intelligence and independence. They met each other on a few more dates and began a serious relationship soon after. After a few experiences of ruptures, and even being accidentally stabbed by Angie, the two got married in 1978. The approach-avoidance dilemmas continued throughout their marriage and they got divorced in 1986. Their son, Calum Best, is now a 38-year-old handsome television personality.
Georgie got married for the second time on 24 July 1995. Alex Pursey was a flight attendant with Virgin Airlines. Georgie and Alex met each other a year before their marriage and despite their age difference which was 26 years, their relationship developed in no time. Georgie’s drinking problems, however, caused the marriage to end in 2005.
George Best’s talents were not limited to the soccer field. In fact, He was a competent writer and wrote several books about soccer and his life.
Behind the Prison Bars
George Best was imprisoned for three months in 1984. After a drinking session, he could not get a taxi because of the heavy rain in London. As a result, he decided to drive by himself and got pulled over by a cop. He got bailed out the next morning to appear in a court; however, he misunderstood the date and missed the court. This incident led to a warrant for his arrest. When he gave himself up, he was verbally abused by one of the cops, which made him so mad that he could not manage his anger and attacked one of them with a head-butt. The judge banned him from driving for five years and sentenced him to three months in prison. Although his solicitor managed to get another hearing, his appeal was denied, and Georgie, terrified of what he might have to endure in this tragic experience, went to prison.
George Best believed alcoholism is a disease. Even though he suffered from this disease for most of his life, he could not take it seriously for a long time. He reached the rock bottom when he desperately stole 10 dollars from the bag of a strange girl in a bar for more drinks. His feelings of guilt, however, forced him to go back to the same bar, find that girl, express his regret and pay her back. It was after this experience that he recognized his drinking problem and accepted that he needed help to deal with it. He always wondered if external sources of support could have carried him through these dark times. For instance, he admired Sir Alex Ferguson for his authority and sensitivity and imagined if he could have empowered him against alcoholism. In 2001, he wrote in his book “Blessed: The Autobiography”: “Drink is the only opponent I have been unable to beat… Sir Alex has often said that he wouldn’t have been able to handle me but it is fascinating to wonder how he and I would have got on. If he had been in charge when I was playing, maybe he would have come and grabbed me when I went missing and things might not have turned out the way they did”.
What else do you know about Best? Leave your comments in the comment section.