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Watch: Day Manchester United's George Best put six past Northampton as teams meet again

By Cate McCurry

Published 21/09/2016

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

It was the day George Best hit Northampton Town — and his critics — for six.

Memories of one of the late George Best’s greatest-ever performances have come flooding back as Manchester United prepare to take on The Cobblers in an EFL cup tie tonight.

The history-making day 46 years ago saw the Belfast football genius score a record six goals for the Red Devils against the same opposition in an FA Cup match.

It was the troubled superstar’s comeback game after a month’s ban for kicking the ball from a referee’s hands.

The record-breaking double hat-trick came at a time when question marks hung over Best’s future — and amid claims from some observers that United might be better off without him.

Speaking days after that remarkable haul on February 7, 1970, the then 24-year-old said: “I don’t really class myself as a footballer.

“I call myself an entertainer. I know a lot of people have paid to see me do something spectacular and that’s what I was trying to do. It’s my job to do something that will send people away feeling that they’d like to see me play again.”

Turning to his four-week ban, the Northern Ireland icon said at the time: “While I’ve been suspended I’ve had people saying that the team played better without me. I felt that if we were beaten by Northampton, people would say it was my fault.

“People think that just because I’m a bit of a showman and lose my temper occasionally that I’m not trying, but I do as much running as anyone.”

Best’s marker that day was the former Northampton Town full-back, Ray Fairfax, who now freely admits that the closest he got to the star was when the pair shook hands after the final whistle.

George Best showing his skills at a young age.
George Best showing his skills at a young age.
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.
George Best at Windsor Park.
George Best played winger for Manchester United and the Northern Ireland national team.
Best made his First Division debut, aged 17, on 14 September 1963.
George Best with son Calum at Windsor Park - August 1988
Best is described by the Irish Football Association as the "greatest player to ever pull on the green shirt of Northern Ireland".
Ireland v England Oct. 1966. Best and Parke outwitted by a headless Charlton as Englend mount an attack.

Looking back on that pivotal day, he said: “When you ship eight goals and the man you were marking scores six you do think you could have done better.

“Your professional pride is dented. But the fact is, if I’d marked him out the game and we’d drawn 0-0, you wouldn’t be wanting to talk to me about it 46 years later. Actually, I played a part in history. Even if it was a very small part.

“He’d been banned for so long we assumed he wouldn’t be fit. We certainly hadn’t worked on a tactical plan to stop him. When the manager came in the dressing room to say he was playing, he just looked at me and said: ‘Right, you mark him’.”

George Best (no.11) scores the third of his six FA Cup goals against Northampton Town
George Best (no.11) scores the third of his six FA Cup goals against Northampton Town

Graham Felton, who played in the Northampton midfield that day, described Best, who died, aged 59, in November 2005,  as a “small but tough guy”.

He said: “We thought we could pile in on him, but he rode all the tackles. He was quicker in thought, movement, everything. You just have to hold your hands up and say he was streets ahead of us.

“He was the most complete footballer I’d ever seen. I was only 21 at the time and I guess I was in awe. But he was very quiet on the pitch; there was nothing showy about him. And when he scored the sixth, when he rounded our keeper Kim Book and toe-poked it in, he looked embarrassed. He wasn’t trying to rub our noses in it.”

George Best movie audition hopefuls - pictures from men who want to play the Manchester United legend in the Stephen Evans' film The Madness Of King George. Above: John Mullin
George Best movie audition hopefuls - pictures from men who want to play the Manchester United legend in the Stephen Evans' film The Madness Of King George. Above: John Mullin
George Best advertising Cookstown Sausages
Ray Kenning
George Best in a Glentoran shirt with another ex Northern Ireland international Norman Whiteside - and a young Stephen Chick
Callum Byers
Football legend George Best pictured in January 1964
Cameron Ervine. Submitted by Jennifer Ervine
George Best
Clark Chambers
George Best, during the Northern Ireland v England match in October 1966
David Holmes
Football legend George Best pictured in January 1964
Ethan Braniff
Manchester United legend George Best
Denis Halligan
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.
Harry Ennis
George Best pictured with Pat Jennings
James Galloghly
Football legend George Best pictured at Windsor Park
George Best in training for Manchester United
These are pictures of my son Jonathan age 17 from Belfast. He is an actor and also a footballer - he is a member of Centre Stage Drama School and plays football for a local team. I think he could play the role of George Best age 15. Submitted by mum Elaine
Football legend George Best
Kieran Corr
George Best relaxes with a cup of coffee as he waits for the action in Bulgaria to begin
Heres a handsome chap for ya - maybe looks more like calum though. Submitted by Laura Mack
George Best footballer in Manchester United kit
Lewis Mc Keown pictured with his dad Paul
George Best in action for Manchester United
Raymond Walsh
George Best: Manchester United and Northern Ireland Legend
Robbie Martin
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.
Shane Todd
George Best with Lawrie Sanchez
Michael Watson submitted by his dad Tom
George Best
Allison Sykes has submitted this picture of her son
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
Hamish Graham
Football legend George Best, pictured with Pat Jennings (left) and Billy Bingham (right).
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 and his mother Annie
Football legend George Best pictured in 1990
George Best, ex-Manchester United footballer, smiling with bruised eye
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.
Calum Best in the funeral cortege.
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
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
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

Best’s determination meant he eclipsed team-mate Denis Law, who had scored six times in a cup game when he was with rivals Manchester City in 1961. However, it was struck off when the game was called off because of fog.

“The thing was Best’s speed of thought,” continued Fairfax.

“I remember one of his goals, Paddy Crerand got the ball on the halfway line and Best was way out wide on the left wing.

“I thought he could do no harm there. Next thing, before Crerand had even played it into the space behind our defence, Bestie went past me anticipating it. He was just a couple of yards ahead of me, but when the ball arrived, he was gone.”

George Best pictured with other prefects at Lisnasharragh High School, Belfast, 1961. George is pictured second left, centre row.
George Best pictured with other prefects at Lisnasharragh High School, Belfast, 1961. George is pictured second left, centre row.
FOOTBALL: GEORGE BEST. Football legend George Best with Eric McMordie - pictured in the Belfast Telegraph Sports dept-1961- before leaving to join Manchester Utd.
George Best
Kate Middleton is pictured aged five.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge
Kate Middleton, before scaling to the heights of Baroness Carrickfergus and Duchess of Cambridge, pictured aged three on a family holiday in the Lake District.
NADINE COYLE:Pop Stars Rival singer and member of girl band 'Girls Aloud',FRONT ROW SECOND FROM LEFT - THORNHILL COLLEGE YEAR BOOK 1996-97
A bit grainy but there's no mistaking Nadine Coyle's smile at Thornhill College in 1996
Nadine Coyle
ULSTER pop princess Nadine Coyle/Girls Aloud.
Liam Neeson ... can you spot the Ulster schoolboy who was destined for great things? Next picture solves the mystery.
Liam Neeson, pictured during his Ulster schooldays... centre of back row.
Liam Neeson
Jimmy Nesbitt and family during the Seventies
Jimmy Nesbitt - the cheeky grin being perfected at a young age
Jimmy Nesbitt
Liam Neeson is said to be in talks to reprise his role as retired CIA agent Bryan Mills
Eamonn Holmes:Tv Presenter/celebrating his fourth birthday at the family home on New Lodge Road
Eamonn Holmes:Tv Presenter/celebrating his fourth birthday at the family home on New Lodge Road
On ITV's Telethon in 1988. Eamonn stepped in at the last minute when original anchor Gerry Kelly, fell ill.
Eamonn Holmes
Lara and Zoe Salmon
Zoe Salmon
Zoe Salmon
Lara and Zoe Salmon
GERRY ADAMS SINN FEIN PRESIDENT.A very young Gerry Adams.
Gerry Adams
Van morrison
Van Morrison
VAN MORRISON:IRISH SINGER.
BBC presenter Stephen Nolan. Pic by Ian Magill. 1/10/09.David O'Dornan interview.
Stephen Nolan
A young Stephen Nolan.
PACEMAKER BELFAST 15/04/98 IAN PAISLEY AS A 12 YEAR OLD BOY
PACEMAKER BELFAST 15/04/98 Rev Ian Paisley pictured on his weding day to wife Eileen Date unknown
27/1/12 PACEMAKER BELFAST. The Rev. Ian Paisley poses with fellow clergy before the Special Farewell Service in his honour after 65 years of Ministry at the Martyrs Memorial Church, on the Ravenhill Road, Belfast. Picture CHARLES MCQUILLAN/PACEMAKER
A young Alex 'Hurricane' Higgins
73. Someone once threw a petrol bomb at Alex Higgins and he drank it!
Young Alex Higgins front left.jpg
Daniel O'Donnell 4.jpg
Daniel O'Donnell 2.jpg
Daniel O'Donnell: Irish Country Singer 1985
Daniel O'Donnell will crown the 2003 Mary of Dungloe on Sunday, August 3" data-title=" Daniel O'Donnell will crown the 2003 Mary of Dungloe on Sunday, August 3" >
Daniel O'Donnell will crown the 2003 Mary of Dungloe on Sunday, August 3
Taking off: Paddy Ashdown doing the high jump at Garth House School, Bangor in 1950
An Audience with Paddy Ashdown
Darren Clarke back in 1985 as part of the Fred Daley Team
Darren Clarke back in 1985 as part of the Fred Daley Team
British Open Champion Darren Clarke at his local bar the Bayview Hotel with the Claret Jug
Darren Clarke 1985 in his Junior Ireland Blazer
SANDWICH, ENGLAND - JULY 17: Darren Clarke of Northern Ireland holds the Claret Jug following his victory at the end of the final round of The 140th Open Championship at Royal St George's on July 17, 2011 in Sandwich, England. (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

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