Thursday, 27 October 2005

George is..........

Best, Dennis is Law. That was a graffiti I used to pass each day on my way to school in south Manchester. Mercer and Allison built a team that were feared throught the football world and while we had Bell, Lee and Summerbee they had Law, Best and Charlton. They won the European Cup in 1968 - that season we won the league. In 1970 we played West Brom at Wembley and won the League Cup, later the same month on a cold and rainy night in Vienna City won the European Cup Winners Cup to become the first English team to win domestic and European honours in the same season. Football was still innocent and the working man's game. Players would stop to sign autographs and often played their whole career for the team they supported. And Best was part of my youth. Now he's a damaged man being gawped at and ridiculed as he lies gravely ill. He suffers from a disease that afflicts thousands of people who don't get the same publicity and who try to deal with their demons alone, Best's mother was also an alcoholic in a time and place where drinking was an escape. My thoughts are with Best and his poor family. You were a good player George but King Colin was better!

3 careful considerations:

Bluefluff said...

Thank you for articulating what I'd been feeling as the BBC news site increasingly promoted & sensationalised the story over the past 48 hours.
This is more about celebrity voyeurism than care or respect.

Rob Spence said...

True - and the BBC is far from the worst culprit in this matter.
And George was better than good - he was, albeit briefly, the best. And I say that as a blue. Colin Bell arguably had more impact, both for City and England.

Nogbad said...

I agree with both - the BBC are certainly not the only ones nor are they the worst but I think everyone deserves dignity and the media frenzy is certainly robbing him of that.

George was for a fleeting moment the very best player in the world, he was - on his day - better than Pele and a more complete player than most, very few of today's forwards could track back and tackle as he did, few - including Gazza and Rooney - could take a nothing ball somewhere on the sidelines in their own half and add magic as he weaved through the opponents.

But! And here's the but. Colin won more caps for his country (and that was against stiffer opposition than Best faced getting into the NI team) and Colin was a far better reader of the game - he made the killer passes that George would squander by trying to get past another defender. And Colin played for most of the match while Best was usually good for perhaps 20 minutes out of 90 in most games. Chalk and cheese - they've been compared recently because Bell's autobiography has just been released - but there is no doubt that they'd both have got a game in a Manchester XI.

"Arkle" collects the ball deep and sets off on a mazey run up the wing, Best and Law move forward, Bell flicks on to Young by the corner flag and runs towards the box, Young's pass is chested down by Best to Law who dummies the keeper and offers a tap-in to King Colin. Manchester 15 Brazil nil :-)