Friday, November 25, 2005

Dr George Best (22 May 1946 – 25 Nov 2005)

Dr George Best, reputedly one of the best to have ever played football at its highest levels, died today after a long illness. A Northern Ireland international footballer, he is mainly remembered for his time with Manchester United FC where he played 466 games for 178 goals between 1963 and 1974. He still holds the record for the most goals by a MU player in a single match, six against Northampton Town, FA Cup fifth round on 8 February 1970. MU won the match 8-2.

Best helped MU win the English Football League Championship in 1965 and 1967 and the European Cup in 1968. The same year, he was named European Footballer of the Year and Football Writers' Association Player of the Year.

He played for numerous lesser clubs over the following years including four games in Asia at the Brisbane Lions FC (Australia) in 1983. He was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Queen's University, Belfast, Northern Ireland in 2001 and made Freeman of Castlereagh in 2002.

Dr Best maintained his celebrity status through lifestyle choice and television commentary and many of his quips are legendry: "I spent a lot of money on booze, birds and fast cars - the rest I just squandered" and "If you'd given me the choice of beating four men and smashing in a goal from 30 yards against Liverpool, or going to bed with Miss World, it would be a difficult choice. Luckily, I had both" are two of the most famous.

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