September 16th, 2013
Manchester United recorded a 2-0 win over Crystal Palace at Old Trafford on Saturday, with superstars Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney getting the goals. Although the three points were much needed, the game also marked the 50th anniversary of the debut of one of the club’s best-ever players.
United beat West Brom 1-0 on Saturday, September 14, 1963, with 17-year-old George Best in the Red Devils’ starting line-up for the first time. He would go on to make 470 appearances for the Old Trafford side in all competitions, scoring 179 goals in a glorious 11-year period.
He won two top-flight titles and the European cup in 1968, while his individual performances were recognised with the Ballon d’Or also.
To celebrate the anniversary of one of the world’s best-ever football players, the official Manchester United website have asked his former team-mates to comment on the Belfast Boy’s extraordinary skill and ability, which they obviously were more than happy to do.
Paddy Crerand recalls Best’s debut where he terrorised Wales international defender Graham Williams, while Harry Gregg talks about being nut-megged by the mercurial talent in training.
David Saddler recollects Best’s extraordinary temperament and lack of nerves before big games and Tony Dunne remembers him as the best player he had ever seen. Finally, Phil Chisnall states that despite a slender build and the attentions of defenders, Best showed no fear and was strong regardless of his slim stature. The complete quotes are here.
As a mark of respect to the great winger, Manchester United have also been publishing some infographics on the player’s achievements on Twitter.
Best was well-known for his humourous comments off the pitch and loveable personality. A collection of his best quotes are housed at Soccerlens.com here.
Unfortunately Best played in an era where technology could not document all his remarkable achievements for us to fully appreciate his ability, but an ever-expanding group of photos are great viewing here.
The man, the legend – 50 years ago his epic journey to superstardom began, and we will never forget his achievements for United over 11 years.