Bet now with totesport - Free £25 bet!

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Bestie fan tributes from last year

My thoughts will be on Bestie tomorrow. The tributes were really good and rightly so. I remember being on Euston a few times when George Best was there and chelsea or tottenham fans going up to him and saying are you George Best. Then saying to him, I'm a chelsea/tottenham fan, but can I shake your hand as you were brilliant. Not too many people in the world that would happen to. I once met him when he was walking down Bond Street with Mary Stavin (miss world) and I went up to him and asked him for his autograph, I ignored her!!!. I told him I was a United fan and he gladly signed. The irony is I used to see him in the betting shop in Dover street almost every day, but no one ever bothered him in there. I have so many things I wish I had asked him to sign. I still have the autograph he signed for me (it was on a cardboard bus ticket) when he was with Mary Stavin. I also got him to sign my passport when he was getting mobbed by Japanese schoolgirls in Tokyo. I don't think we'll ever see the like again.

Rest in Peace George

I went to Old Trafford on Saturday in the hope of signing the book of remembrance. Unfortunately we arrived late and didn’t have the time to queue up as my mate, the driver, had to be somewhere else in under an hour. We moved on up to Sir Matt Busby Way to pay our respects at the shrine that has been created opposite the Ground. I expected it to be emotional but the items that really got to me were the sentiments written down by supporters of other clubs, some of which came from three of our closest rivals; Leeds, City and Liverpool. Those heart felt comments say more about proper football followers than the moronic behaviour shown by some of their so called “supporters” at the weekend.

I remember being at Selhurst Park for a game against Charlton the Saturday after the Hillsborough disaster and being part of an impeccable show of respect from United’s huge following for those who had lost their lives. We all know of the hatred that exists between the two sets of fans but at least we could put that to one side for a minute to show we could respect the loss of human life. Liverpool’s followers showed the world their true colours on Saturday and should look at the events at Goodison Park the following day as Everton showed them how to respect one of football’s true greats.

Mick Roberts

For me unfortunately it is the bitter sweet memory of a man at a low ebb and how society and people in general derided a man who had fallen on hard times. I met George Best once, I even got to shake his hand which is closer than most defenders ever got.

My father told me the stories of what a great footballer, athlete and man he was, how he had as a teenager growing up in South Wales watched the images of a man that both inspired and enlivened via the wonders of the television. My father has said often that in the skysports world of football an average player could get a 30 mins highlights package made and that if George had played today then they would struggle to have enough time in the schedule to show it all. That is the way to remember George really, frankly how many other people get an entire night dedicated to them on BBC2, in fact no other footballer has, yes they have dedicated a night to football but never to a single footballer….That is how special George is.

Now to the sad side, a department store in south Wales, a sharp electronics roadshow and a small irish fella with a beard and an incredibly fail appearance, showing off microwaves, tv’s and juggling a football like a performing monkey for a group of people that frankly didn’t deserve to see someone so great being reduced to doing something so menial. When I met him in the sports department, he walked in my direction and I put out my hand, he shook it and said nice to meet you – surely it should be the other way around but I was too much in awe even if he was a shadow of the man that my father described – then he let go stretched his hand out further and someone gave him a glass of champagne. It was 9.30 am and he looked like it wasn’t his first.

It upsets me that bit, really does, it doesn’t go with the stories my father told me and frankly I now wish I hadn’t gone, for me the George Best that I watched on the TV, the one that accompanies stories of great wins and wonderful skill, those are the memories for me and the ones that will stay with me forever.

God bless you George. Rest in peace. Robert E


Post a Comment

<< Home