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Date: Sat Jun 20 07:10:20 GMT+00:00 1998
1. BESTIE: A PORTRAIT OF A LEGEND
2. Signing All Set (D.Mail)
Date: Fri, 19 Jun 1998 15:04:11 -0800
Reply-To: "Manchester United Football Club (soccer)"
Sender: "Manchester United Football Club (soccer)"
From: Steve Fisher
Subject: BESTIE: A PORTRAIT OF A LEGEND
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I read this review of 'Bestie' in the Times and I thought the list might
Best of best?
A portrait of the player in his prime - but his heart remains hidden
Simply the, er. . .
BESTIE: A PORTRAIT OF A LEGEND
The Authorised Biography of George Best
By Joe Lovejoy Sidgwick & Jackson, £16.99
ISBN 0 283 06313 0
There is an interesting book to be written about George Best. Sadly, Bestie
is not it. Perhaps this is not the right moment for a balanced view: we seem to
be in act four of a five-act tragedy. But when the hour cometh we can only
hope that another man - and not Joe Lovejoy - cometh at the same time.
Nonetheless, there is raw material here which a future biographer will wish
to use. Lovejoy has spent many hours across saloon bar tables with Best,
and a number of his playing and drinking pals. Indeed, half the book is made
up of the ramblings of former players and coaches, debating the ins and outs
of exciting training ground disputes in the early 1960s.
The bald facts of George Best's life are quickly stated. Discovered in Belfast
at 15, he became part of a Manchester United team which enjoyed a brief
period of success in the mid-1960s, becoming the first English team to win
the European Cup - a feat since emulated a number of times, by Nottingham
Forest and Aston Villa among others.
Best himself was a two-footed footballing phenomenon, but one who turned
very early to drink, so that by 25 his career was effectively over. Since
around 1972, Best - an acknowledged alcoholic - has inhabited a shadowy
world of nightclubs, casinos, guest appearances, chat shows and photo
opportunities. He has been a chronic gambler and a noted womaniser. He has
enjoyed well-publicised affairs with a series of beautiful women, who have
struggled against his alcoholism and have on occasion been abused for their
Best the family man is quickly dispatched. He does not visit his father,
though occasionally finds time for a word or two with him if he turns up at "a
venue". He has fathered a 15-year-old son, whom he sees once or twice a
year. Most recently he took him on an illegal drinking excursion, with
predictable tabloid exposure to follow.
Even in this authorised biography, no redeeming features emerge: no acts of
kindness, no hidden depths, no charitable work. He stayed in the pub rather
than playing, as agreed, in Bobby Charlton's testimonial - while drinking
chums threw eggs at Charlton's picture.
This is, in other words, a profoundly depressing portrait of a sad, sick man.
But Lovejoy seems scarcely to notice, obsessed with footballing trivia and
lists of drinks consumed and bets lost. A different pen might tell us what
Best feels about the wreckage of his life, and why so many women have tried
to make some sense of it.
But I did clear up one personal mystery. Some time around 1966 I was
minding my own business walking home through the exotic north
Manchester suburb of Crumpsall, when I was nearly flattened by a white
Jaguar, with Best at the wheel, emerging from a drive like a cork from a
bottle. I was puzzled, because any self-respecting fan knew that Best lived in
Chorlton, some miles away.
Lovejoy provides the answer. While George did live in Chorlton with a
Manchester United landlady, he and a Manchester City footballer rented
another flat for what are coyly described as "extra-curricular activities". I
cannot say that my life has been blighted by not knowing this for the past 30
years, but for that small illumination I am grateful to Lovejoy.
Hope it is of interest
hillside printing co ltd
3050 nanaimo st
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Date: Sat, 20 Jun 1998 09:00:41 +0800
Reply-To: Red Devil Marcus
Sender: "Manchester United Football Club (soccer)"
From: Red Devil Marcus
Subject: Signing All Set (D.Mail)
United 'ready for World Cup signing' - Edwards
Friday, June 19, 1998
Manchester United will make a move for a World Cup star before the end of
Chairman Martin Edwards is giving away no secrets, but admits everything is
in place to make a swift signing.
He claims he wants any deal tied up before the trophy is handed over on July
12 but who United will be signing remains a mystery.
'It's no use hanging fire in case someone else steps in ahead of you,' said
'You can be too late if you watch the World Cup then make your move
Manager Alex Ferguson and at least two of his staff are on scouting duty in
France and Edwards is waiting for the call to tell him to set the buying
process in motion. United have been linked with many top names but
Argentinian striker Gabriel Batistuta is one of the favourites.
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