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George Best's Biography

 
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George Best was born on 22 May 1946 in Belfast, Northern Ireland.

Discovered at 15 by a scout, who told Sir Matt Busby that he had found a 'genius', George Best made his debut, aged 17, for Manchester United in 1963 and won his first cap for Northern Ireland just a year later.

The mid-60s, with Best in the side, was a golden era for Manchester United. They won the League Championship (equivalent to the modern Premiership) in 1965 and 1967. In 1968 they became the first English team to win the European Cup.

Best gained recognition for his key role in United's success when he was voted English and the youngest ever, European footballer of the year.

Amidst his troubled later years, in October 2003, Best sold his European Footballer of the Year award.

Regarded as the first soccer 'superstar' Best was one of the most talented and exciting footballers to have graced the game. Albeit against a lower league team, Best's flair was shown to greatest effect in Man U's 8-2 F.A. Cup victory over Northampton Town in 1970. George Best scored six goals.

In 1974 Best failed to turn up to training and Manchester United manager, Tommy Docherty, sacked him.

After Best left United he played for a catalogue of clubs including Dunstable, Stockport, Cork, Celtic, Los Angeles Aztecs, Fulham, Fort Lauderdale Strikers, Hibernian, San Jose Earthquakes, Bournemouth, and Brisbane Lions.

George Best retired from playing football in 1983. He did however turn out later for another team - Ford Open Prison - after he had been convicted of drunken driving and assault.

Best had continued his 'champagne' lifestyle through most of his life and his need for a liver transplant in 2002 was put down to excessive drinking.

Best once said: "I spent a lot of money on booze, birds and fast cars - the rest I just squandered."

In a similar vein Paul Morley, in The Afterlife, quotes George Best as saying:

"I said years ago that if you'd given me the choice of going out and beating four men and smashing a goal in from thirty yards against Liverpool or going to bed with Miss World, it would have been a difficult choice. Luckily, I had both."

Best was a also a pundit on Sky Sports, a columnist on Punch and, if memory serves me correctly, a controversial inebriated guest on Wogan.

George Best and his first wife, Angie Best, have a son, Calum Best. Best and his wife, Alex, divorced in 2004.

On 25 November 2005, George Best passed away at the Cromwell Hospital in London after a protracted illness.

In 2009, George Best's son Calum Best made a documentary Brought up by Booze: A Children in Need Special, which dealt with his relationship with his father.



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