Belfast Telegraph

The day Belfast Telegraph's Stuart led Bestie out onto the field... and 'left' him red-faced

By Stuart McKinley

I'm not sure who ever came up with the advice 'never meet your heroes.'

Having been fortunate to meet a few of mine through this job, I would counter that by saying that it's fine to meet your heroes as long as you actually know why they should be your hero and you can appreciate meeting them.

I was just six years old when I met George Best, and other than that I knew he was a famous footballer but I was far too young to have any real understanding of his iconic status.

Outside of taking a note to school saying that I had to leave at lunchtime for an appointment at the doctor or dentist - I can't remember which and I am sure the teacher will forgive the untruth - my stand-out memory is walking out onto the pitch with him in tow.

Every week I would walk out at the front of the line, onto the stock car track and go right, but George, obviously not knowing this, went to lead the team left.

I remember catching him out of the corner of my eye as he turned to follow me and offered an apology.

Imagine that. George Best following me.

It's only with the passing of time that I realise how privileged a position I was in that day - and what I missed out on by not taking it in.

I don't know where it all went wrong for me.

Belfast Telegraph


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