Continuing my transformation of this blog... Soccer was a big part of my life when I was growing up, both watching and playing it. I remember the pure excitement of watching England win their one and only World Cup, in England in 1966. One of the most famous players of that time was George Best, who passed away earlier this week. George's story is one of rags to riches and fame, which all seemed to go to his head. Alcoholism was a lifelong problem for him.
George Best was the Ronaldinho of his day, who started his professional soccer career at the age of 17, playing for Manchester United. Yesterday there were tributes and a 1-minute silence at Manchester United's ground Old Trafford. The present manager of Man Utd, Alex Ferguson, was there, as was former Man Utd manager and England manager, Sir Matt Busby.
Best has often been called the most naturally gifted player from the British Isles, rivaled only by Pelé and Diego Maradona on the world stage. Maradona himself has frequently named Best as his all-time favourite player . Pelé once stated that George Best was the best player he ever saw play and named him as one of the 125 best living footballers in his 2004 FIFA 100 list.
United fans say goodbye to Best
Old Trafford remembers Best
Best's funeral is to take place in his native Belfast on Saturday, Dec 3rd. It is expected to be the biggest of its kind in Britain since the 1997 death of Diana, Princess of Wales.