Belfast Telegraph

Pat Jennings: he was going past rivals like they weren't there

By Staff Reporter

Half a century on, Pat Jennings can be forgiven for a lack of total recall when it comes to just one of the 1,000 plus games he played during a glittering career.

Mention Northern Ireland's meeting with Scotland back in 1967, however, and he replies with 'the Bestie game'

Known in popular footballing folklore as 'the day George Best beat Scotland on his own', Jennings stood at the opposite end of the Windsor Park pitch as Best weaved his way through the Scottish defence time and time again, mesmerising team mates and opposing players alike and leaving the heaving crowd in awe.

"It's a game that I get reminded about quite often, although I don't remember too much about it - it was 50 years ago," said Jennings.

"It's frightening that it was that long ago. Dave Clements scored the goal, but George ran the show.

"He was going past Scotland players like they weren't there. It ended up that no-one wanted to go near him because he was just breezing past them. He was unstoppable and it's probably the best I ever saw him play."

It is worth remembering that this was no ordinary Scotland team.

Five months earlier, Celtic had ruled Europe, beating Inter Milan in the European Cup final and England's top flight was full of top Scottish talent.

"It was a very good Scotland team. You have to remember that they had a lot of the Celtic team that had won the European Cup that year.

"They were big players, but they couldn't handle George. He was only 21 at the time and was probably playing as well as he ever did.

"Manchester United had won the league the season before and were on their way to winning the European Cup."

Belfast Telegraph

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