Although not old enough to have seen the ‘Babes’, I can, however, say that I had the pleasure of watching the ‘Trinity’ in action, both home and away.
Charlton was always simply ok. Denis was of course the “King” – I had a middle page spread from Charles Buchan’s Football Monthly pinned to my bedroom wall, right beside the bed. Bestie, however, was simply something else. Who cared if the second line of the away support’s chant was true, that he did “walk like a woman and he wear a bra”. The first line had it spot on – “Georgie Best, SUPERSTAR”.
Seven years since he died. How time flies.
Mind you, it only seems like yesterday that he was waltzing down the wing, rounding the Benfica ‘keeper and slipping the ball into a vacant net, or avoiding that lunge from Ron Harris, who was trying desperately hard to live up to his nickname, rounding Bonetti to score that marvellous goal in the League Cup at Old Trafford.
The good thing about watching United in the late sixties was that that the players were accessible. They were not ‘protected’ by some upstart in blazer. I can remember sitting on the steps leading up to the main stand one Saturday morning with George, Pat Crerand, John Aston and a couple of others. Yes, the gates were left open in those days!
Bestie was even more accessible than that, as I was sat beside Paul Anthony, the former MUTV presenter at Gary Neville’s testimonial dinner in Malta two summers ago and he told me that he was in the George Best fan club and he was one of the lucky members who won a competition to spend the weekend with George at his house.
Can’t see that happening today. Some fans did go to Rooney’s place, but they had ski masks on.
Ok, George did things that he shouldn’t have. His actions didn’t help United at a time when they really needed him. We may all have been annoyed with him and found it hard to forgive, but seven years ago when he was lying un-well in hospital, the referee up above poised with the whistle in his mouth, ready to blow for full time. We only remembered the good times. The goals. The magic.
We, as United supporters have been spoilt rotten and George Best was one of those who spoilt us.
Benfica in Lisbon, Benfica at Wembley, Sheffield United at Old Trafford, Chelsea at Old Trafford, Spurs at Old Trafford, the list is long and I think they will be on “YouTube”, as well as in the memory banks for you to replay over and over again.
The memories linger on, and always will.
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