Belfast Telegraph

Barbara Windsor tells of her fling with George Best

By Maureen Coleman

His scoring skills off the pitch were almost as legendary as his scoring skills on it. Football hero George Best was renowned for his philandering ways and was famously quoted as saying “In 1969 I gave up women and alcohol — it was the worst 20 minutes of my life.”

His latest conquest to come forward is soap queen Barbara Windsor, who admitted this week that she had a fling with the playboy footballer in the 1960s.

Describing the Belfast man as “fabulous”, the actress, who recently quit her role as EastEnders landlady Peggy Mitchell, told Piers Morgan how she got together with Best at a film premiere in Manchester.

She said: “There was this vision, this absolute vision. In the Sixties he was so beautiful.

“Anyway, in the bar afterwards he came over to me and he started talking to me and I said ‘Look, don't waste your time with me, darling, you've got all these lovely ladies after you'. And he said ‘Well, when do I ever get to talk to somebody like you?'

“Well, that did it. That was it. A magic moment again. It was great, he was fabulous.”

Best had a definite type of woman and Barbara Windsor fitted the bill — blonde, bubbly and beautiful.

And she wasn’t the only actress that he bedded. During the 1970s Best had a relationship with Susan George, star of Straw Dogs. In 2001 she joined Windsor on the set of EastEnders, playing the little-known character Margaret Walker in a number of episodes.

But Best also had a well-documented penchant for beauty queens, dating former Miss Great Britain Carolyn Moore, American Miss World Marjorie Wallace and Swedish beauty Mary Stavin, who was also a former Miss World.

Wallace’s reign as Miss World in 1973 was cut short because the organisers frowned on her dating high-profile celebrities such as Best and singer Tom Jones.

Then there were the women he married, model Angie Janes, with whom he had his son Calum, and air hostess Alex Pursey, with whom he lived for some time in Northern Ierland. Both women have kept the Best name.

Following his divorce from second wife Alex in 2004, he went on to date divorcee Gina Devivo, barmaid Lisa Pesch, and not long before his death, millionaire’s wife Ros Hollidge.

Other girlfriends included students Eva Haraldsted, Siv Hederby, and Lotta Bottle milk ad girl Jude Dennis.

Best’s Blondes

* Marjorie Wallace - In 1973 Best dated American Miss World Marjorie Wallace. Her regin was cut short because of her high profile dalliances.

* Susan George - Also during the 1970s, Best had a relationship with the actress Susan George, who starred in Straw Dogs and Tales of the Unexpected.

* Angie James - Best married Angie in 1978 and the pair had a son in 1981. Their marriage was annulled five years later. She said that despite the break-up, best remained the only man she ever loved.

* Mary Stavin - Best dated former Miss World Mary Stavin in 1983. He brought out a fitness video with the Swedish beauty called Shape Up And Dance.

* Alex Pursey - Best married former air hostess Alex Pursey after meeting her in 1995. The couple were together for nine years and she moved back home to Northern Ireland with him for a few years.

Belfast Telegraph

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