Belfast Telegraph

Best? George and David

By Steven Beacom

My children play a game with the Belfast Telegraph. They love to check if 'Daddy's photograph' is in it.

On Tuesday this paper paid a fitting tribute to retiring hero and Northern Ireland record goalscorer David Healy.

My boy Aaron, aged four, pointing to the back page: "Daddy, why are there so many pictures of this man (Healy)?"

Daddy: "That's David Healy, son. He scored more goals for Northern Ireland than anyone else, and now that he's decided he won't be playing any more we wanted to celebrate how special he was."

My daughter Sophia, aged six: "Was he the best Daddy?"

Daddy: "No, that was George, darling."

Sophia: "Who's George, Daddy?"

Daddy: "He was the best footballer ever to come out of the place where you live."

Aaron: "But you said the man David scored all the goals."

Daddy, struggling: "That's right Aaron. David was the best at getting goals for Northern Ireland and George was the best player from Northern Ireland. Shall we go and play upstairs with your toys now!"

Great news that the Irish FA are considering a permanent tribute at the new Windsor Park for Healy. If they go ahead and name a stand after David, they ought to think about one for George too.

It's true Bestie didn't consistently deliver in a Northern Ireland shirt like Healy (few did), but the 'Belfast boy', who became a global superstar, still produced more iconic moments at Windsor than most.

I'd throw the great Pat Jennings in there for consideration too if another stand is going spare.

If playing in a stadium with the names of Jennings, Best and Healy etched around the ground doesn't inspire future generations, nothing will.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph