Friday, November 25, 2005


He's taken his time, but George Best has finally died, bringing to an end a curious week which has seen everyone basically talking about him as if he was dead even although he wasn't. So far had the gun been jumped he was lucky they hadn't buried him before he breathed his last.

It's a commonplace observation that Best was the first Rock & Roll footballer - marking the end of the time when professional footballers feared matches running into extra time as it made it difficult for them to get back to the mill for the late shift, and the start of the modern era where footballers are afraid of extra time because they might miss the happy hour at China Whites. In addition, though, Best proved an inspiration for a slew of novelty records - Her's Georgie You've Broken My Heart, Georgie by Lucy and even I Wish I Could Play Like Georgie Best, amongst others. While other sports stars have generated the odd cash-in single (Thank You Very Much, Mr. Eastwood), nobody has had quite so many songs recorded with one eye on their honour and another on the Woolworths till.

During the craze for relasing football-related compilations, the Exotica label pulled together some of them, along with a couple of more recent tributes and some spoken word material to create Georgie: The Best Album.

In addition, of course, there was the mighty Wedding Present debut album named after him.