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Remembering George Best

There was a tiny, insignificant incident in one of the first matches I saw George Best play for Manchester United that has always haunted me, in some ways more than than the many moments of genius I witnessed in his brilliant subsequent career.It occured in March 1964 against Fulham as United were desperately trying to keep alive a faltering campaign to win the league title, having recently unexpectedly lost both a Cup Winners Cup quarter final against Sporting Lisbon and an FA Cup semi-final against West Ham in successive matches. There was a packed Good Friday crowd in Craven Cottage hoping to see further humiliation heaped on the mighty Reds and the Londoners had a strong team with top-quality players such as Bobby Robson and the great Johnny Haynes. It was the latter who gave Fulham the lead with a perfectly struck volley past Dave Gaskell after ten minutes at which point United stirred themselves into action with surging passing movements.David Herd cracked in an equalizer from a Bobby Charlton corner and then Denis Law was suddenly put through, one-on-one against Tony Macedo in the Fulham goal, and with a shimmy of the hips slotted the ball home and wheeled away, arm raised in imperious salute. At 2-1 up after half an hour United looked in complete control and surely one more goal would settle it and secure the vital points. But then came the moment I’ll never forget…

To read this story in full, purchase Red Matters from Amazon.


 

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