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Home > Media

'For George'

A famous anecdote about George Best involves a porter opening up the penthouse suite of the Ritz to find him groping Miss World on a bed scattered with £20,000 in fresh bank notes. The porter looked at the pair and said: ďMr Best, where did it all go wrong?Ē

18 July 2003

Only a few weeks ago, sporting prince George Best was pictured in the News of the World - a paper for whom the brain-damaged alcoholic writes an incisive column - reclining in the sun with his stunning young wife. Looking tanned and healthy, not only was the ex-legend full of beans, he also had someone else's liver inside him and Clockwork Orange-style stomach implants which would make him ill if he so much as smelled another barmaidís apron. Things were looking good.

Then this week he was back on the front page of the scandal-rag. Back in a mire of angry words like BINGE and BERSERK and BENDER.

Alcoholism is a terrible thing. It is a disease, and a destructive and terrifyingly common one at that. It would be churlish of us to suggest that Best is now so utterly worthless, weak and predictable, with nothing whatsoever to further offer society, that he should simply be cast into a pit of wine and left to soak and sink. Churlish, but apposite, for, as he admits himself, he is a waste of time, money and of decent people's livers.

On the other hand, it would be unforgivable to cast any blame on Best himself. Even at the 'height of his powers', he was only a fucking footballer for fuck sake, and even then he was never the shiniest stud on the boot. It was hardly surprising really, that he simply couldn't handle the attention. Indeed, with his booze and his birds and the rest of his glam-dram off-rails exploits, Best became one of the definers of the modern tabloid. He made a lot of newspapers a lot of money. He still does.

Which is why he's back on the front page this week. Which makes you think. Would the News of the World really stoop so low as to engineer Bestís latest binge? The answer is yes. Of course they would. Best's wife Alex has repeatedly condemned barstaff and her husband's 'new friends', who seemed to have actively encouraged his downfall. Then there was a NotW photographer on hand to take the mandatory drunken beating. For which, ironically, both George and his wife have apologised to the paper. Sad really.

One can't help thinking that itís about time the News of the World did some apologising.

More Best:


More celebrity alcoholism (Gary Oldman):


Comment on this article: letters@thefridaything.co.uk

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