Arguably the greatest player in British football history. Belfast-born Best was already a Manchester United and Northern Ireland star aged 17. Dubbed ‘El Beatle’ by Portuguese press reporters in 1966 after United beat Benfica 5-1 in Lisbon, Best’s fashion sense and Beatle haircut saw him emerge as the first ‘pop-star’ footballer. The leading scorer for United in the Football First Division in 1967-8, he won a European Cup medal and the title of European Footballer of the Year. Best also played for Northern Ireland thirty-seven times from 1964-77. In later years he was also known for his troubled lifestyle, departing from United in 1974 after falling out with the management, and retiring completely from the game in 1983.
I was asked to painted George Best for a dedicated Manchester United Fan. This portrait commission was a nostalgic trip back in time for me as
I was fortunate to have met the legend over 40 years ago. He played football with my husband Jim Platt, https://rokerreport.sbnation.com/2020/9/9/21426936/on-this-day-9-september-1981-george-best-lines-up-against-the-lads-for-middlesbrough who was the Goalkeeper for Northern Ireland in two world cups and many games.
George was not at all like I imagined. He was of course extremely handsome but he was charming, unassuming and modest. As the saying goes “If I’d been born ugly, you’d never have heard of Pelé. Many a true word is spoken in jest, and few would argue George Best was the most naturally gifted footballer Britain has produced.”
I painted George’s portrait using oils and choose to do it in a pared back modern style. The client loved it and for once I am very happy with my painting it’s the best I can do!
On This Day: 9 September 1981 – George Best lines up against the Lads for… Middlesbrough
ON THIS DAY (1981): A familiar face in the form of George Best took to the Ayresome Park field, representing Boro for the one and only time in a game against Sunderland.