31 Facts About George Best

1. George Best was flamboyant and exciting and able to inspire his teammates.

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2. George Best continued to drink, and was sometimes seen at his local pub in Surbiton, London.

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3. In September 1990, George Best appeared on the primetime BBC chat show Wogan in which he was heavily drunk and swore, at one point saying to the host, "Terry, I like screwing".

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4. George Best spent Christmas of 1984 behind bars at Ford Open Prison.

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5. George Best had a cameo as himself in the 1971 British comedy film Percy.

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6. George Best was successfully defended when the case reached court in January 1973 by barrister George Carman QC, a close drinking companion of Best, as acknowledged in his book, Scoring at Half Time.

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7. George Best owned fashion boutiques, in partnership with Mike Summerbee.

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8. George Best opened a nightclub called Slack Alice on Bootle Street in Manchester in 1973 and owned restaurants in the city including Oscars, on the site of the old Waldorf Hotel.

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9. George Best continued to be selected for Northern Ireland throughout the 1970s, despite his fluctuating form and off pitch problems.

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10. George Best outpaced Banks and headed the ball into the empty goal, but the goal was disallowed by referee Alistair Mackenzie.

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11. On 15 May 1971, George Best scored possibly the most famous "goal" of his career at Windsor Park in Belfast against England.

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12. George Best was capped 37 times for Northern Ireland, scoring nine goals.

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13. George Best returned one last time to Easter Road in 1984, for Jackie McNamara's testimonial match against Newcastle United.

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14. George Best played only three league games, the others against Bohemians and Shelbourne, but despite attracting big crowds he failed to score or impress.

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15. George Best had a brief spell at Cork Celtic in December 1975 and January 1976.

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16. In total George Best made 470 appearances for Manchester United in all competitions from 1963 to 1974, and scored 179 goals.

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17. George Best would be the subject for a second time in 2003 when Michael Aspel surprised him at Teddington Studios.

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18. George Best won the Ballon d'Or in 1968 after receiving more votes than Bobby Charlton, Dragan Dzajic and Franz Beckenbauer.

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19. George Best had little faith in the United medical staff, and so he secretly saw Glentoran's physiotherapist, who readjusted his ligaments in a painful procedure.

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20. George Best was given a job as an errand boy on the Manchester Ship Canal, allowing him to train with the club twice a week.

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21. George Best was given a trial and signed up by United's chief scout Joe Armstrong.

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22. At the age of 15, George Best was discovered in Belfast by Manchester United scout Bob Bishop, whose telegram to United manager Matt Busby read: "I think I've found you a genius.

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23. In 1957, the academically gifted George Best passed the 11-plus and went to Grosvenor High School, but he soon played truant as the school specialised in rugby.

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24. George Best had four sisters, Carol, Barbara, Julie and Grace, and one brother, Ian.

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25. George Best was born on 22 May 1946 and grew up in Cregagh, east Belfast.

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26. George Best was one of the inaugural 22 inductees into the English Football Hall of Fame in 2002.

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27. George Best was on the six-man short list for the BBC's Sports Personality of the Century in 1999.

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28. George Best was voted 8th in the World Soccer 100 greatest football players of the 20th century election in 1999 and was voted 16th in the IFFHS World Player of the Century election in 1999.

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29. George Best was married twice, to two former models, Angie Best and then Alex Best.

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30. George Best said of his career: "I spent a lot of money on booze, birds [women] and fast cars—the rest I just squandered".

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31. George Best was once quoted as saying, "Pele called me the greatest footballer in the world.

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