George Best (22 May 1946 – 25 November 2005) was a Northern Irish professional footballer who played as a left winger for Manchester United and the Northern Ireland national team.
Described as the “greatest player to ever pull on the green shirt of Northern Ireland.”
Rejected by local club Glentoran for being “too small and light.”
Discovered by Manchester United scout Bob Bishop aged 15 and was signed after a trial.
Was given a job as an errand boy on the Manchester Ship Canal as United couldn’t sign Northern Irish players as apprentices.
Made his First Division debut, aged 17, in September 1963 against West Bromwich Albion.
Scored his first goal for the first team in his second appearance against Burnley in December.
Won the 1964 FA Youth Cup, the first since the Munich air disaster.
Help United win the First Division title in his first full season as a regular starter.
By the age of 19, Best was becoming footballs first real superstar. He was nicknamed “the fifth Beatle” following two goals in the European Cup quarter-final match against Benfica.
Claimed his second league title in 1966-97 as an ever-present all season long.
In the 1967–68 season Manchester United won the European Cup, The first English team to win the competition. Best scored in the final.
Named the FWA Footballer of the Year, becoming the youngest ever winner of the award. He was also joint top scorer in the league.
Won the Ballon d’Or in 1968.
United struggled the following year after Sir Matt Busby retired. Best said he felt like he was carrying the team.
Scored an FA Cup record six goals in an 8–2 win over Northampton Town in February 1970.
disciplinary issues started in 1970, suspended for missing the train for the Chelsea game and missing training for a whole week. despite the off field issues Best was still one of United’s best players.
In 1971, Best finished as the club’s top-scorer for the sixth consecutive season.
Best become frustrated with United’s decline and began to party at the London nightclubs. He was later suspended, and transfer-listed at a value of £300,000.
Best’s last competitive game for the United was against Queens Park Rangers in January 1974. United were relegated that season.
After being dropped by United, Best spent time on loan at Jewish Guild in South Africa.
After Manchester United
Seemed to have found a new home at Fulham but only stayed one season before moving to America.
Named as the NASL’s best midfielder in his second season.
Returned to the UK to play for Scottish club Hibs. He failed to save them from relegation.
Best carried on playing for a number of clubs before retiring in 1983 aged 37.
Best was capped 37 times for Northern Ireland, scoring nine goals.
Grew up supporting Glentoran and Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Played in the first game to be broadcast in colour on British television.
Best was arrested and charged with stealing a fur coat, passport, and cheque book from Marjorie Wallace, but was later cleared of all charges.
Best struggled with a much reported alcohol issue throughout his career.
Died on 25 November 2005, aged 59.
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