George Best quotes

George Best is widely regarded as one of the greatest soccer players of all time.

George Best quote. I spent a lot of money on booze, birds and fast cars. The rest I just squandered. Photo copyright NL HaNA, ANEFO CC3

He was a star player for Northern Ireland and for Britain’s most successful team, Manchester United.

Best became the first “pop star” like footballer in the mid 1960s. His long hair and film star looks gained him publicity that went way beyond the sports pages. He led a celebrity lifestyle that saw him dating a series of beautiful women including several Miss World winners.

Many fans felt that Best had wasted his great gifts. Best, however, never saw it that way. He said he made more money after leaving the game than he ever did while playing. His fans, however, couldn’t accept this.

Cartoon of George Best and Miss World on bed with thousands of pounds. Image copyright Ireland Calling

To illustrate the point, Best recounted the story of how he went on a date with the woman who had just won the Miss World contest. They went to the races and won several thousand pounds.

That evening Best and Miss World laid the money out on the bed of their hotel room to count it. At that moment, a hotel waiter knocked on the door to bring them the two bottles of champagne they’d ordered to celebrate.
Illustration of George Best. Image copyright battlersandbottlers
The waiter, still mindful of Best’s early retirement from football, handed over the champagne, looked at the beautiful Miss World, looked at the thousands of pounds and then said to Best: “George, where did it all go wrong?”

In the end, the pressures of sporting stardom and front page celebrity took its toll. He drank heavily and many people believe he squandered his great football talent. He descended into alcoholism and eventually needed a liver transplant.

Best died in 2005 at the age of 59. He remained honest and humble throughout his life and was never afraid to make fun of himself and his addiction to alcohol and the highlife.

These are some of his most famous sayings, which can still put a smile on the faces of his millions of fans.

George Best quote. I definitely don' think money can buy you love. Photo copyright NL HaNA, ANEFO CC3

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I never went out in the morning with the intention of getting drunk. It just happened.
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I’d have to be superman to do some of the things I’m supposed to have done, I’ve been at six different places at six different times.

Decorative shamrocks. Image copyright Ireland Calling

I was in for 10 hours and had 40 pints – beating my previous record by 20 minutes.
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George Best quote. I was born with a great gift, and sometimes with that comes a destructive streak. Photo copyright NL HaNA, ANEFO CC3
I was born with a great gift, and sometimes with that comes a destructive streak. Just as I wanted to outdo everyone when I played, I had to outdo everyone when we were out on the town.

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It’s true that I’ve made lots of mistakes but I’ve never tried to bother anyone. I want to stay alive, preferably in peace, without seeing every one of my mistakes in the papers, and on many occasions, even stories that are lies.
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George Best quote. My one big regret is that I didn’t play on for 10 more years. Photo copyright NL HaNA, ANEFO CC3
Decorative shamrocks. Image copyright Ireland Calling

By the time I was 25 I felt the team was in decline and alcohol was taking over. For three years I was out every night and gambling became a drug, too.
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In 1969 I gave up women and alcohol – it was the worst 20 minutes of my life.
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I once said Gazza’s IQ was less than his shirt number and he asked me: “What’s an IQ?”

Decorative shamrocks. Image copyright Ireland Calling

I was probably the first footballer ever to have a pop star profile and my agent was right when he said we could put my name on stair rods and sell them to people in bungalows.
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The fans don’t want all-seater stadiums. They’ll never stand for it.
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George Best talking about being mobbed by fans.
It got so bad that I was afraid to go near the windows and I couldn’t get away without a police escort. It was like being a prisoner.
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George Best quote. When I finished playing I tried to find something to replace that buzz. Maybe I thought drinking made me feel good. Image copyright Ireland Calling

Decorative shamrocks. Image copyright Ireland Calling

George Best talking about Eric Cantona.
I’d give all the Champagne I’ve ever drunk to be playing alongside him in a big European match at Old Trafford.
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All the bad times cannot wipe away the good memories, and despite all the ups and downs, when I look at my life as a whole, it is impossible for me not to feel blessed.
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George Best quote. The best thing about being a dad? Well, I think it's the thing that every man wants - to have a son and heir. Photo copyright NL HaNA, ANEFO CC3
Decorative shamrocks. Image copyright Ireland Calling

They say I slept with seven Miss Worlds. I didn’t. It was only four. I didn’t turn up for the other three.
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I might go to Alcoholics Anonymous, but I think it would be difficult for me to remain anonymous.
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George Best quote. I used to go missing a lot. Miss Canada, Miss United Kingdom, Miss World. Image copyright Ireland Calling

Decorative shamrocks. Image copyright Ireland Calling

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I’ve stopped drinking, but only while I’m asleep.
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It’s a pleasure to be standing here. It’s a pleasure to be standing up.
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Here’s George Best doing what he did best

Quotes Cartoon illustration of shamrocks. Image copyright Ireland Calling

All images copyright Ireland Calling

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