…last November 25th was the 11th anniversary of the death of Georgie Best… there will always be discussion, debate and deliberation on just who is/was the greatest ever footballer… I come from a bygone age in football, when the skill of ball control, we called it ‘dribbling’, was paramount in any forward’s skill set… yeez can talk about Pele, Maradona, Garrincha, Puskas et al, but for me, one man stood out above all of them… the great Georgie Best… just enjoy having a wee run-through the clip above, and yeez’ll see why I think that way… here’s a tribute I did for him a while ago, and have shared on here before:
…simply the BEST…
…it’s not just because I’m a Manchester United nut…(I was born six years later in the same street in Govan, Glasgow as Sir Alex Ferguson)…fifty years ago, as lads in the school play-grounds, and on the dirt pitches around Glasgow, we played a different sort of football from the modern stuff currently served up on the television screens every weekend…no fancy coaching…up to twenty-a-side street teams versus neighbouring street teams…a tennis ball or rubber ball no bigger than a cricket ball (whatever that was) served the purpose, until the cheaper Mouldmaster real-football-sized versions became accessible…I often wonder if the pedigree athletes swanning around on the deck every TV match I watch are capable of using the ball for more than a one-touch pass…’dribbling’ we called it back then…and tackling wasn’t a dirty word…no less so ‘shoulder-charging’, including the goalies, most of whom, by the way, could look after themselves very well physically, thank you very much…little wonder, when I worked in London (as a Scot, I told them I was there as a missionary) that I look back on the few occasions I had the chance to watch LIVE, the great Georgie Best, and realize just how good the man was…at one match at Crystal Palace (yes, they did populate the top flight at one time before now…), the pitch was doing a passable imitation of a mud-bath obstacle course …remember the balls back then were heavier beasties than the featherweight ping-pong balls they seem to smack 1,000 yards nowadays… it didn’t matter that there were ten other United players on the field that day… George swiveled and turned the whole ninety minutes …the old cliché is that with one body swerve he could send the entire crowd the wrong way… be that as it may, what I saw him do all day that day will live in my mind forever …he may have played in grander matches and scored umpteen goals, captured in reels elsewhere… amid the mud and desperate lunging tackles, he danced away every time, as if the ball was part of his toes… and we, we of a certain age, ballet-danced through the mire with him… back on the play-grounds, scoring through the piled jackets of goal posts in countless open-scrub yards in cities up and down the country… I’m a grown man, supposedly a hard product of the docklands in Govan, but the day Georgie Best died, I sobbed my guts out… the world had lost an icon… one of the finest, if not the finest, exponents of the beautiful game… his back story and struggles are well recorded and I’ll let others dwell on that… but for me, the most magical player I’ve ever seen play live… simply the Best…
April 8th, 2013
…see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!
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