George Best (22 May 1946 – 25 November 2005) is widely acknowledged to have been one of the greatest football players of all time, remembered for his halcyon days with Manchester United F.C. He played for the Northern Ireland team, but their failure to reach the final rounds of the World Cup denied him the ultimate global stage.
The best of Best
- "Pain is temporary, glory...lasts forever!"
- "I spent a lot of money on booze, birds and fast cars. The rest I just squandered."
- "I used to go missing quite a lot... Miss Canada, Miss United Kingdom, Miss World."
- [On David Beckham:] "He cannot kick with his left foot, he cannot head a ball, he cannot tackle and he doesn't score many goals. Apart from that he's all right."
- "If I had been born ugly, you would never have heard of Pelé."
- "In 1969 I gave up women and alcohol. It was the worst 20 minutes of my life."
- "Pelé called me the greatest footballer in the world. That is the ultimate salute to my life."
- [When Michael Parkinson asked how soon before kick-off George had made love:] "Half time!"
- "I've stopped drinking, but only while I'm asleep."
- [On Paul Gascoigne:] "I once said Gazza's IQ was less than his shirt number and he asked me: 'What's an IQ?'"
- [On Paul Gascoigne:] "They say Paul Gascoigne is the new George Best but has he shagged three Miss Worlds?"
- [On Eric Cantona:] "I'd give all the Champagne I've ever drunk to be playing alongside him in a big European match at Old Trafford."
- "I was in [for the blood transfusion after a liver transplant] for 10 hours and had 40 pints - beating my previous record by 20 minutes."
- [On the infamous Battle of the Buffet between Manchester United and Arsenal players:] "That's what children do - throw food. That's not fighting. We were real men. We'd have chinned them."
- [On Kevin Keegan:] "He's been very, very lucky, an average player who came into the game when it was short of personalities."
- "Don't die like me!" (reportedly the final message of George Best)
- "Boss, I think I've found you a genius." (The telegram sent to Manchester United manager Sir Matt Busby by talent scout Bob Bishop, who discovered a 15-year-old Best playing for Cregagh Boys' Club.)
- "He's not George Best, but then again, no-one is." (Commentator Clive Tyldesley.)
- "The closest I got to him was when we shook hands at the end of the game." (Northampton Town player Roy Fairfax, who had been marking Best when he scored six goals in an 8-2 FA Cup win for Man Utd in 1970.)
- "Shellito was taken off suffering from twisted blood!" (United team-mate Pat Crerand after Best had given Chelsea full-back Ken Shellito a torrid time.)
- "He was able to use either foot - sometimes he seemed to have six." (Sir Matt Busby)
- "So George, where did it all go wrong?" (The hotel bellboy who delivered champagne to Best's room and found him entertaining a scantily-clad Miss World on a bed covered with his winnings from the casino.)
- "The only thing I have in common with George Best is that we come from the same place, play for the same club and were discovered by the same man." (Norman Whiteside)
- "After his first training session in heaven, George Best, from his favourite right wing, turned the head of God who was filling in at left-back. I would love him to save me a place in his team, George Best that is, not God." (Eric Cantona has pays tribute to the late George Best)
- “What he had was unique, you can't coach it.”, “I think if you talk about Europe, you talk about five or six and if you talk about his qualities he'd always be in there. “It was a short career but if you go back to the basic qualities he was exceptional.”  (Johan Cruyff)
- "Maradona good; Pele better; George Best" (A banner near the Best family home in the Cregagh Estate on the day of Best's funeral)
- "George Best invented rock 'n' roll football" (Former France and Juventus midfield great Michel Platini)
- "From the second best player in the world" (On a signed football left as tribute to George Best by Pele)
- I Often Went Missing - Book of Best Quotes at Tangent Books