November 25, 2005

George was the Best

One of the very best players in the English/Northern Irish game throughout the 1960's and into the early 70's, George Best, died this week.

Michael Walker's obituary about "the Keith Moon of Manchester United," is at The Guardian Unlimited.

Belfast is not a city noted for forgiveness but where George Best was concerned, among the public, it was a bottomless well. To local politicians it was different, though of course now there is a notion that the proposed new national stadium should be named after Best. It's too late.

It should have been done years ago. Unofficially Best must have known what he meant to Belfast, but it would have been good for him to see it in bronze. Recognition was a problem for Best: he had too much of it from those who could offer him little, not enough of it from those who could shape him. He said the captaincy of United might have changed his life. Instead he began a pattern of departure. As the poet said: "We live our lives forever taking leave."


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