ice in his veins, warmth in his heart and timing and balance in his feet

While Mick has already noted some of the tributes to George Best, I had hoped to link to the Michael Crick report on Newsnight last night. But it doesn’t seem to be available. ANYway the Guardian’s David Lacey has an excellent article, published today – “The artist who was greater than the team”. Also in the Guardian, David Meek, who was the football correspondent with the Manchester Evening News, 1958-95, recalls “The greatest game I ever saw him play”From David Lacey’s article

Yet it is as a footballer that he will be principally remembered, not least by those fortunate enough to have seen him at his peak in the 60s. Personal memories abound, among them a deliciously bizarre moment at Highbury when Arsenal had deputed Peter Storey, one of the most uncompromising tacklers of the day, to track him down.

This Storey did assiduously but he was completely thrown when, on receiving a short clearance from Bob Wilson, he started to take it upfield only to see Best barring the way. Storey panicked, swung round and passed back to his goalkeeper. But Wilson, unprepared for the sudden change of mind, was caught out of position and all Storey found was his own net. In effect Best had scored without touching the ball. His reputation was enough.

And the opinion of Danny Blanchflower, from the same article –

Danny Blanchflower’s assessment of his fellow Ulsterman’s footballing abilities captured the player and the man perfectly: “Best makes a greater appeal to the senses than Finney and Matthews. His movements are quicker, lighter, more balletic. He offers the greater surprise to the mind and eye, he has the more refined, unexpected range. And with it all there is his utter disregard of physical danger. He has ice in his veins, warmth in his heart and timing and balance in his feet.”

Scanned from the Guardian, this is George Best celebrating a goal for Manchester United in the 1964 FA Youth Cup.
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More images here

  • Padraig

    I’m sick listening about him.

  • Pete Baker

    Wrong thread, Padraig. Here’s the post you should have read first

  • tom

    Bit of ‘Princess Di’ hysteria setting in !!

  • Pete Baker

    As before, tom.

  • David N

    ‘….but there’s nothing quite like the roar of a Windsor Park crowd when playing in the green jersey. I count it a privilege to have played in 37 games for my country – 18 at Windsor Park – and these occasions have been the shinning highlights of my career.”

    RIP George

  • If I could emulate George Best vis-a-vis norn iron,
    I’d have the heart of a lion ,
    the eyes of an eagle,
    and the hands of a lady.
    RIP GB

  • steve

    “I’ve always thought that at any given time both the Republic and Northern Ireland have had some great world-class players,”

    “I just believe in trying something. If it doesn’t work, at least you’ve tried. I still hope that in my lifetime it happens,”

    Maybe you can watch your dream of an all Ireland team from above George.

    A genius who will never be rivaled.

  • Padraig

    I feel sick. Its like drinking tea with a pound of sugar thrown in.
    Also all this mawkishness does George himself’s memory no favours, the real man dissappears in a cloud of Herry Potterish nonsense.