Friday, November 25, 2005

Football legend George Best dies

This just in:

George Best, whose flamboyant life took him from the heights of sporting success at Manchester United to the depths of alcoholism, died on Friday aged 59. The Northern Irishman, widely regarded as the only British footballer in the same league as Pele, Diego Maradona and Johan Cruyff, died in the London hospital where he had spent the final two months of his life, drifting in and out of consciousness.

Prime Minister Tony Blair led tributes to the man he called "probably the most naturally gifted footballer of his generation, one of the greatest footballers the UK has ever produced".

"Anyone who has seen him as a football fan will never forget it," Mr Blair said from the Commonwealth Head of Governments meeting in Malta.

Republic of Ireland Prime Minister Bertie Ahern said: "George should be remembered as the very best at what he did. He was quite simply a football genius."

Sir Bobby Charlton said his former Manchester United team-mate "made an immense contribution to the game, and enriched the lives of everyone that saw him play".

"Football has lost one of its greats, and I have lost a dear friend. He was a marvellous person."
A statement from the club said: "For the goals, the audacious dribbles and all the wonderful memories, Manchester United and its legions of fans worldwide will always be grateful."

A minute silence is to be observed at every Premiership football match this weekend in Best's memory.

Unfortunately, I wasn't even born when Best was in his prime but as a football buff, I do know what a gem in UK football he was in mid '60s.