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16 October 2014
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Best Memories

A legend to football fans around the globe and no stranger to tabloid front pages, read and listen to glimpses of the life of one of Northern Ireland's most famous sons.

George Best

George Best: 1946 - 2005

One of football's greatest talents, George Best made his name playing for Manchester United and Northern Ireland. Frequently better known for his exploits off the field than on, his career at the top was relatively short-lived.

fans at George Best's funeral

click here for a narrowband version

Listen to George Best talking about losing his temper and his Manchester landlady LISTEN: George Best

(radio broadcast in 1960's)

Listen to George talking about his temper on the pitch and how he always regrets losing it. He describes his Manchester landlady as his second mother and says that she keeps his feet on the ground.

Listen to commentaries and memories of George Best's performance during Home International Tournament match in 1967 LISTEN: 'I Was There:
The Home International
Football Tournament'

(broadcast October 1995)

Football fans recall their memories of George Best's performance during a Home International Tournament match against Scotland, at Windsor Park, Belfast in 1967. You can also hear commentary from the match.

Born in Belfast -
Born on 22nd May 1946, George Best grew up on the Cregagh estate and played football for Cregagh Boys Club. Manchester United's chief scout in Northern Ireland, Bob Bishop, was very impressed with George's skills when he saw him play and contacted the team's manager, Matt Busby, with the message "I think I've found you a genius" .

George Best

Manchester United career -
After joining United as an amateur in 1961, George made his professional debut for the club as a 17 year old against West Bromwich Albion in September 1963. He was a vital member of the Manchester United side that won the league championship in 1965 and 1967, and the European Cup in 1968, when he was voted both English and European Footballer of the Year . He also famously scored 6 goals in an FA Cup fifth-round tie against Northampton.

Northern Ireland team -
George Best won the first of his 37 international caps in 1964 against Wales. Later that year he scored his first goal for Northern Ireland in a 1-2 away defeat to Switzerland and in 1967 he played what many believed to be his finest game for Northern Ireland in a 1-0 win against Scotland.

Unrealised potential? -
Sometimes nicknamed "the fifth Beatle", George was the first pop-star footballer , receiving thousands of fan letters a week and regularly finding himself the focus of intense media attention. As his rock 'n' roll lifestyle began to take its toll, his football career deteriorated during the 1970s. He announced his retirement in 1972, but returned to football the following year, playing for numerous clubs until he finally hung up his boots in 1983.


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