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George Best remembered: Northern Ireland and Manchester United legend's greatest moments

Published 23/11/2015

Soccer - 50th Anniversary of George Best's Debut for Manchester United...File photo dated 08/03/1969 of Manchester United's George Best. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Friday September 13, 2013. At around 10am 50 years ago on Saturday, David Sadler jumped into a taxi cab in Chorlton in the suburbs of Manchester alongside a 17-year-old stripling of a lad who was about to embark on a journey which would bedazzle the world of football. That boy was George Best. See PA story SOCCER Best. Photo credit should read: PA Photos/PA Wire...S
Soccer - 50th Anniversary of George Best's Debut for Manchester United...File photo dated 08/03/1969 of Manchester United's George Best. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Friday September 13, 2013. At around 10am 50 years ago on Saturday, David Sadler jumped into a taxi cab in Chorlton in the suburbs of Manchester alongside a 17-year-old stripling of a lad who was about to embark on a journey which would bedazzle the world of football. That boy was George Best. See PA story SOCCER Best. Photo credit should read: PA Photos/PA Wire...S
Silky skills: George Best in action at Old Trafford
Soccer - 50th Anniversary of George Best's Debut for Manchester United...File photo dated 30/07/1968 of Manchester United's George Best. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Friday September 13, 2013. At around 10am 50 years ago on Saturday, David Sadler jumped into a taxi cab in Chorlton in the suburbs of Manchester alongside a 17-year-old stripling of a lad who was about to embark on a journey which would bedazzle the world of football. That boy was George Best. See PA story SOCCER Best. Photo credit should read: PA Photos/PA Wire...S
PACEMAKER PRESS INTL. BELFAST. Manchester Utd V Glentoran at the Oval. A friendly pre season match which featured N.I World Cup star Norman Whiteside playing for Man Utd, and George Best, the legendary N.I player who played for the Glens that day against the English team who discovered him. George Best had asked Glentoran of he could play as a favour to his dad who had been a life long supporter of Glentoran. August 1982.811/82/bw With Stephen Chick
AUGUST 1988 - GEORGE BEST & SON CALUM TESTIMONIAL AT WINDSOR PARK

George Best will forever be remembered as one of football's greatest ever talents.

1946: Born May 22, Belfast.

1963: Leaves school and turns professional with Manchester United. Travels from Belfast with Eric McMordie, who went on to play for Middlesbrough, to Old Trafford. The pair return to Northern Ireland because they are homesick but United manager Matt Busby travels after him and persuades Best to come back to Manchester. Makes First Division debut on September 13 against West Brom at Old Trafford.

1964: Makes Northern Ireland debut, seven months after making his first-team debut, against Wales in Swansea.

1965: Helps United win their first league championship in eight years.

1966: Mesmerises Benfica, regarded as one of the finest teams in Europe, by scoring twice in the opening 10 minutes as United become the first team to inflict a European defeat on the Portuguese side in the Stadium of Light. United win 5-1 and Best is hailed as 'El Beatle' by the fans. One supporter runs on the pitch at the end with a knife wanting a lock of Best's hair.

1967: United win league championship.

1968: Manchester United become the first English team to win the European Cup, Best scoring in a 4-1 extra-time triumph over Benfica at Wembley. Picks up the English and European Footballer of the Year awards.

Read more:

George Best remembered: 10 years on from icon's death, Northern Ireland football is riding high

George Best in action
George Best in action
George Best
Football legend George Best pictured in January 1964
George Best with the Portadown football team and mascot before they played Glenavon in 1981
Football legend George Best pictured in January 1964
George Best: Manchester United and Northern Ireland Legend
Memories: George Best trudges off the pitch after being sent off against Scotland
George Best larks around in his kitchen with Angie in 1976
George Best footballer in Manchester United kit
Alex with George Best in 1995
The birth certificate
Books:GEORGE BEST: The Legend - In Pictures, Ivan Martin, Appletree Press
George Best and his dad, Dickie
George Best advertising Cookstown Sausages
George Best has a drink in a Belfast bar
GEORGE BEST:FOOTLALL/NORTHERN IRELAND AND MANCHESTER UNITED LEGEND.
Belfast boy: George Best is the most heralded Northern Ireland sports star... but Rory McIlroy can close in
George Best is regarded by everyone as one of the greatest footballers of all time, and by many, including Brazilian icon Pele, as THE best of the lot. The Belfast boy, who lived a rock and roll life, had staggering skill and balance, which he used to score for Man United in their 1968 European Cup final victory, one of 179 goals for the club. A breathtaking talent.
George Best in a Glentoran shirt with another ex Northern Ireland international Norman Whiteside - and a young Stephen Chick
George Best, during the Northern Ireland v England match in October 1966
Manchester United legend George Best
George Best. Football. Manchester United and Northern Ireland. Ireland v England Oct. 1966. Best and Parke outwitted by a headless Charlton as Englend mount an attack.
HEALTH Best 11...Library filer dated 08/03/1969 of legendary footballer George Best who is "coming to the end of the long road of his ill-health", his doctor Professor Roger Williams said Thursday November 24, 2005. See PA story HEALTH Best. PRESS ASSOCIATION photo. Photo Credit should read: PA...A
Benfica's Goalkeeper Jose Henrique (left) races back to his goal in a vain attempt to stop George Best (right) of Manchester United from scoring his team's second goal in the the European Cup final at Wembley, 29th May 1968. United eventually won 4-3 after extra time.
George Best pictured with Pat Jennings
Football legend George Best pictured at Windsor Park
Manchester United footballer George Best with manager Tommy Docherty.
Best man: George Best (c) shows off the 1968 European Footballer of the Year award, which journalist Max Urbini (l) presented to him before the match, as team-mates Bobby Charlton (second l, 1966 winner) and Denis Law (r, 1964 winner), and manager Matt Busby (second r) look on
Simply the Best: George Best shows off some of his wide range of skills during his time at Manchester United, where he became a worldwide star
George Best playing at the stadium
George Best in training for Manchester United
Football legend George Best
George shakes hands with the Glenavon captain Alan Frazer and referee Malcolm Moffatt
George Best's wife Angie hands out balls during the game
George Best with Gerald Black
Angie Best with the referees
George Best leading the teams out with mascot
Excited young fans mob George at the game
Angie is greeted by fans
The Bests having fun on the pitch during the game
On the ball: George’s wife Angie on the pitch
Fond memories: mascot Stuart McKinley aged six
George Best relaxes with a cup of coffee as he waits for the action in Bulgaria to begin
Style icon George Best outside his Manchester Boutique in the 1970s
George Best in action for Manchester United
George Best puts pressure on Gordon Banks as he prepares to clear the ball from the England penalty area in the 1971 international at Windsor Park.
George Best with Lawrie Sanchez
George Best
John Chaffetz, an official of the Los Angeles Aztecs, points the way for soccer star George Best. Best was attending a press conference after joing the Aztecs in 1976
George Best and his mother Annie
Molly meets soccer star George Best
Football legend George Best, pictured with Pat Jennings (left) and Billy Bingham (right).
Lining up: George Best joins the rest of the Tobermore United squad for a team photo before the Irish Cup tie against Ballymena United in 1984
The late George Best with then wife Alex Best is pictured with family and friends outside his boyhood Burren Way home after he received Castlereagh's Freedom of the Borough
Close friends George Best and Mike Summerbee at 1966 World Cup Final
George Best in April 2002 at the house in Burren Way, where he unveiled a plaque after being awarded the freedom of Castlereagh
George Best with son Calum
George Best with his former wife Angie and son Calum
George Best with his former wife Angie and son Calum
George Best and Calum Best
Football legend George Best pictured in 1990
Football legend George Best with his wife Angie, brother Ian, father Dickie and baby son Calum
George Best with his sister Barbara McNarry
George Best at home in Belfast with his father Dicki
George Best, ex-Manchester United footballer, smiling with bruised eye
H&H auctioneer James Wheeler polishes up the Jaguar once owned by George Best
George Best
Manchester United and Northern Ireland football legend George Best
A bus stop on the Cregagh Road on the morning of George Best's funeral.
Flags at George Best funeral at Stormont. Saturday 3rd December 2005
The garden of the Best family home in Burren Way, Cregagh, on the day of George's funeral.
The George Best funeral cortege on the Ballygowan Road.
New stamp depicting George Best
Calum Best in the funeral cortege.
Calum Best shakes hands with well-wishers as George Best's funeral cortege leaves the Best family home
The George Best funeral cortege on the Ballygowan Road.
Calum and Dickie Best at George Best's funeral
The crowd on the Cregagh Road waiting for George Best's funeral cortege.
Crowds gather at Stormont for the funeral of George Best
A view from the balcony of Parliament Buildings in Stormont
Crowds gather at Stormont for the funeral of George Best
George Best's coffin is carried up the steps to the Stormont buildings
George Best's coffin is draped with the Northern Ireland flag
George Best's agent Phil Hughes (centre) with Eamonn Holmes next to George Best's coffin in the Parliament buildings in Stormont, Belfast, Saturday December 3, 2005. The world of football was today paying its last respects as George Best, one of the greatest ever players, was laid to rest. Best, 59, died last Friday in London's Cromwell Hospital.
The Best family at the George Best funeral at Stormont
Billy Bingham at George Best's funeral
Robert Dunlop at George Best's funeral
Dickie and Calum Best at the funeral of George Best funeral at Stormont.
Terry Neill at George Best's funeral
Paddy Kielty and Gerry Armstrong at George Best's funeral
Frank McLintock at George Best's funeral
Mike England at George Best's funeral
Derek Dougan at George Best's funeral
Milan Manderic at George Best's funeral
Pat Jennings at George Best's funeral
Phil Taylor, George Best's agent and Jackie Fullerton at George Best's funeral
Alex Higgans at George Best's funeral
Bobby Jameson at George Best's funeral
Barry McGuigan and his wife at George Best's funeral
Rodney Marsh at George Best's funeral
Dennis Law (centre) at George Best's funeral
Martin O'Neill at George Best's funeral
Callum Best and mum Angie at George Best's funeral
George Best's grave
George Best Belfast City Airport handled more than 2.5 million passengers last year
A mural of George Best and David Healy on the wall of the Times Bar, York Road. Brian Little/ Presseye
The Best family plot at Roselawn on the day before George's funeral.
Some of the Best memorabilia up for grabs at Wilsons Auction house today. Pictured a silver Benfica letter opener, dated 1966, given to George which marks Man Utd's 5-1 European Cup defeat of Benfica in Lisbon. There are 110 lots of George Best memorabilia available, collected by Dickie Best over a period of 40 years
Best Fan - 7 year old Luke McMullan from Dungannon holding a replica European Champions Manchester United Trophy presented to Dickie Best when George Best died. There are 110 lots of George Best memorabilia available, collected by Dickie Best over a period of 40 years.
Some of the Best memorabilia up for grabs at Wilsons Auction house today. There are 110 lots of George Best memorabilia available, collected by Dickie Best over a period of 40 years.
Some of the Best memorabilia up for grabs at Wilsons Auction house today. There are 110 lots of George Best memorabilia available, collected by Dickie Best over a period of 40 years.
Best Fans - Mark McIlwaine (13, left) and David McCracken (13), both from Lurgan Junior High admiring some of the Best memorabilia up for grabs at Wilsons Auction house today. There are 110 lots of George Best memorabilia available, collected by Dickie Best over a period of 40 years.
Best Fan - 7 year old Luke McMullan from Dungannon (dressed in his school rugby kit) holding a cast from George Best's original match worn boots, pictured amongst Best memorabilia at Wilsons Auction house today. There are 110 lots of George Best memorabilia available, collected by Dickie Best over a period of 40 years.
Items on sale of the Dickie Best collection which will go on public auction on the 19th march at the Wilsons premises in Mallusk with 110 lots of George Best memorabillia available which was collected by Dickie over a 40 year period.
Family Portrait (left to right): Carol Best - Lisa Hogg; Julie Best (Twin) - Catherine Quinn; Ann Best - Michelle Fairley; George Best - Tom Payne; Dickie Best - Lorcan Cranitch; Grace Best (Twin) - Amy Quinn; Barbara Best - Laura Donnelly
George Best played by Tom Payne
Ann Best played by Michelle Fairley
George Best played by Tom Payne
Ann Best played by Michelle Fairley
Ann Best played by Michelle Fairley
George Best played by Tom Payne
George Best played by Tom Payne
Richard (Dickie) Best with a picture of his son, footballer George Best pictured at his home in Belfast. October 2005
Visiting George Best’s grave yesterday were Michelle McBride with Lyn Smyth
Visiting George Best’s grave yesterday was Ivan Little
Fans of the late football superstar regularly visit the grave to leave mementoes
Fans of the late football superstar regularly visit the grave to leave mementoes

1970: Scores six goals in an FA Cup fifth-round tie at Northampton. Sent off playing for Northern Ireland against Scotland in Belfast for throwing mud at referee.

1971: Withdraws from the Northern Ireland squad after threats on his life. Scores a hat-trick against Cyprus in Belfast.

1972: Announces retirement.

1973: Makes short comeback after making peace with new United boss Tommy Docherty before again retiring after another bust-up.

1974: Plays for Jewish Guild of Johannesburg but his short spell in South Africa is characterised by his heavy drinking and gambling lifestyle. Dunstable Town manager, his former Manchester United team-mate Barry Fry, persuades him to turn out for his club in a friendly.

1975: Plays for Stockport on loan, making three league appearances and scoring two goals, before becoming one of the leading lights of the newly formed North American Soccer League with the Los Angeles Aztecs and joining Cork Celtic.

1976: Joins Fulham, making 42 appearances with eight goals.

1977: Makes the last of 37 international appearances for Northern Ireland against Holland in Belfast.

1978: Joins Fort Lauderdale Strikers in America but a wrangle over his registration between the American club and Fulham leads to FIFA imposing a worldwide ban on him. Marries first wife Angie MacDonald James in Las Vegas.

1979: Plays for brief spell with Hibernian in Scotland.

1980: Signs for San Jose Earthquakes and begins treatment for alcoholism.

1981: Scores what he later described as his favourite goal in a 3-2 win over former club Fort Lauderdale. Son Calum Milan Best is born.

1983: Plays five times for Bournemouth before finally retiring.

1984: Jailed for drink-driving offence.

1988: A testimonial organised by friends attracts 20,000 people in Belfast and raises £75,000 to help stave off bankruptcy.

1990: Causes storm of protest after appearing drunk and swearing on BBC TV's Terry Wogan chat show. Best claimed TV executives ''plied'' him with champagne before the performance.

1995: Marries Alex Pursey.

1996: Announces he would be interested in succeeding Jack Charlton as Republic of Ireland manager but Football Association of Ireland appoints Millwall boss Mick McCarthy.

1998: Joins Sky Sports as football pundit.

2001: December - Reveals he is on standby for a liver transplant.

2002: July 30 - Goes into hospital for transplant.

December 8 - Awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year.

2003: July 12 - Arrested after an incident at a hotel in Tadworth, Surrey.

August - Announced he was selling his trophies, including his 1968 European Footballer of the Year award, to raise money to buy a Greek home.

2004: February - Banned from driving for 20 months after pleading guilty to drink-driving.

April - Divorced from wife Alex.

2005: July - Cleared over allegations of indecently assaulting a teenage girl.

October 1 - Doctors at the private Cromwell Hospital in west London reveal Best is in intensive care with kidney problems. Condition improves over the next few weeks.

November 18 - Suffers severe setback in his recovery as he contracts a new infection and is put on a life support machine.

November 25 - Dies in hospital, aged 59.

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