Ö..and Georgie Best!
OK Ė I have a confession to make. I havenít always been a Spurs fan, in fact, I only became one in 1976, when I was old enough to make up my own mind about such stuff, before that, myself and my little sis both supported Man Utd because that was who our own hero, our Dad, supported (second to Wigan Athletic anyway).
So, as a little girl, I spent my Saturday afternoons in a red and white striped scarf, trotting around the country watching the Red Devils with my DaddyÖwith Mum and Jan too. My heart was chilled on many an occasion when Dad told the story of the night of the Munich Air Disaster, when most of the team were wiped out in a cruel blow. Dad sat weeping with his ear glued to the radio as more news was broadcast on that terrible night.
What Iíve not yet mentioned is that the late 60s and early 70s were something of a purple patch for the Reds and their squad was just about the best its ever been (since Munich any way) so I was regularly being enthralled by the likes of Bobby Charlton, Dennis Law and yep, youíve guessed it, Georgie Best. What a man.
On my tenth birthday, my treat was a trip to the London Dolphinarium (these days I would find my stomach shrinking with dismay at the thought of dolphins and a killer whale swimming in a giant tank in Oxford Street but my environmental and moral conscience had not yet been formed in 1970!)Ö.Then we went on to Stamford Bridge to watch Man Utd play away at Chelsea.
What a game. Chelsea were two goals up at the end of the first half, then in the second half, George Best wove a bit of magic, scored a goal then got himself sent off for protesting when Willie Morgan (on the wing) got booked.
Iím privileged to have seen Best, Law and Charlton but also a whole host of other stars too, including Pele, while in my Dadís care. None of today's stars could have even remembered seeing his hayday.
Itís clear from the last couple of days that all who knew George Best loved him and all those who saw him play were thrilled by his talent. We celebrate the man. He was a true footballing hero. I, like Arsene Wenger (oh how it grieves me to say that), agree that his gambling spirit was a strong part of his charm but when he gambled with alcohol, he lost his stake in life. Sleep well, Georgie and know you were loved by us all.
By the way, for anyone who doesnít get the reference, he once did an advertising campaign for the Egg Marketing Board and this slogan was a mainstay of their campaign (E for B = eggs for Breakfast).