Monday, 24 November 2008


1946 - 2005
Thought by some to be the finest soccer player of them all, George Best had the world at his feet for much of his career. Playing for Manchester United he gave dazzling displays of his skill and football genius delighting his legion of fans, and to top it all George was one of our own, an Irishman! Not only was George one of our own but he was also ‘one of the lads’ enjoying the trappings of fame with a penchant for beautiful women and an increasing dependence on alcohol. Many would argue that Best’s glittering career was ended prematurely because of this hectic lifestyle and in his final years his battle with the booze became a continuing struggle. The Sydney Morning Herald in paying tribute said about him…“The originality of Best's play was breathtaking, encompassing a repertoire of feints and swerves, sudden stops and demoralising spurts which left opponents slack-jawed and bewildered. He reacted to scoring chances with a deadliness that made goalkeepers dread him. His skill was the epitome of natural, intuitive talent; he made it seem easy. It was Best's tragedy that he ultimately became as famous for his unsuccessful attempts to conquer his alcoholism as for his exploits on the field.”
Even in the throes of his ongoing health and addiction issues George regularly appeared on TV chat shows ,ever the charming and engaging guest. All who met him were struck by this charismatic personality who by his wanton behaviour inflicted so much pain and hardship on himself.George's lifestyle had caught up with him, and he was very ill. George was admitted to Cromwell Hospital, London on the 26th of September 2005. In the hospital God had Joyce, a Christian nurse, who read the Bible and prayed with George at every opportunity.
About three weeks before his death, George accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as his own, personal Saviour making, without doubt, the best decision of his life. In the words of Joyce, "he confessed with his mouth".If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9) While George enjoyed all the good things that this life had to offer eventually he realised the truth that only God can satisfy the thirst and hunger of the human soul. Patrick Kavanagh expressed the shallowness of excess when he wrote these lines “We have tested and tasted too much…through a chink too wide comes in no wander…” And Jesus told the story about the man who gained the whole world and yet lost his soul !George Best was a blessed man to be given the opportunity to turn to Jesus even at the ninth hour and find forgiveness and peace for his soul. While all his family gathered around his bedside during his final moments none of them could prepare George for this final great journey!
On the day of his funeral,3 December 2005 his sister got an assurance from God as to Georges ultimate destination when she read these words from the Bible “This thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found” (Luke 15:32).
Gerard O'Shea


Mike said...

Wow. This is exciting. We all remember his game. I don't think there will be another player like him.

This is good news.

Tony said...

Praise the Lord!