Friday, November 25, 2005

Passing of a Legend

Manchester United legend George Best has just passed away, aged 59, after a long battle with alcoholism and liver failure.

Best, widely regarded as one of the greatest British footballers ever, was a prodigious talent who, unfortunately, threw it all away for booze, women, and a fast life.

Though he played for Manchester United before I was even born, I managed to catch a few video clips of him in action, when he was in his prime. And the accolades that people have heaped on him are not exaggerated. I was mesmerised by his mazy dribbles, incredible footwork, and the classy goals he scored. He was captivating in full flow.

In fact, he was so good, legend has it that Sir Matt Busby, before sending his team out of the pitch, would give the other 10 players specific instructions on what he expected them to do, but for Best, he simply told him "Do what you like". And Best went out there, did exactly what he wanted with no thought of tactics or formations, and created chaos in opposing defences.

Sadly, he was more interested in partying than playing football, and once famously said "My talent is mine; I will throw it away if I want to." And that was exactly what he did. Even after his liver failed due to decades of drinking and he had a liver transplant, he still continued drinking - sparking outrage among liver failure patients who accused him of wasting the very rare chance, which he'd managed to get, of a new liver.

Like so many other great players - Paul Gascoigne, Diego Maradona - he allowed his off-field antics to dominate his career, and his addictions to spiral out of control and eventually to ruin him. However, there is no denying that George Best, despite his weaknesses, was an immensely gifted footballer, and there will never be the likes of him again. Manchester United supporters are mourning the passing of one of the club's greatest and most loved players.

Now let us just hope that Wayne Rooney doesn't tread that same path (as all the truly gifted footballers seem wont to do).

NB: Soccernet has a very concise factfile on Best's life and career, for those who are interested.

[Editor's note:
This is just so fucking sad, I have tears in my eyes as I type this. And I don't care if people think I'm being stupid.]


At 7:22 PM, November 26, 2005, Blogger JayWalk said...

Can't really say that I feel totally sad for his death.

Granted that it is never a good thing to have someone die, sadly, I have to say that Best had it coming.

For someone who drank his original liver to death, he was lucky to get a liver transplant. Instead of making good use of this second chance in life, he went on to drink his second liver to death.

Think about it, wouldn't the donor's liver be better put to use on somebody else?

While I do not deny the Best had contributed greatly to the ManUtd team of the early years, I feel that he didn't deserve that liver donation if he were to abuse it like that.

Well, in any case, he's dead and the chapter's close on the Great George Best.

May he rest in peace.


At 5:36 AM, November 27, 2005, Blogger Daniel said...

all the best for this blog! Well, Best will always be remembered for his footballing genius. His foibles only make him more like one of us.


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