Sunday, November 27, 2005
George Best 22 May 1946 – 25 November 2005
It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.
Had Charles Dickens been around in the 1960s, he would have definitely rephrased that opening line from his French Revolution tale.
Berlin Wall, Kennedy, Vietnam, Napalm, M.L.King, Beatles, Dylan, Woodstock, Surrealism, Rock and Roll, Sophia Loren, Pele, Audio Cassette. A decade of turbulence, shifting identities and alliances, which took the human thought to unchartered frontiers, and even the Moon. An era of unrest and uproar - an era of love, hate and hash.
And in the midst all these exciting turmoil and shifts, a flawed genius dribbled his way to be one of the best footballers the world has ever seen. A true icon of all times, and especially of the swinging sixties.
The fifth Beatle, the Magician at the Theatre of Dreams. Although he never could play at the world cups because he was from Northern Ireland, he stole every possible heart due to his mesmerising and glamorous stint at Manchester United. Pele reportedly saw him at the 1968 Euro final against Eusebio's Benfica and called him the greatest footballer he had ever seen.
George Best lived a life of a famous star, with chicks, cars and champagne. He made as much news from outside the field, as he made on it. His riotous lifestyle eventually gave way to bankruptcy, countless near death encounters, and a very painful liver transplant. But once a star, always a star. He never amended, and after a long fight, his health and life gave up on him yesterday.
He will live on in our memories as the most joyous of players. George Best zindabad.