George Best, one of the world’s greatest ever footballers (Pele’s words, not mine) died today at the age of 59, following a long battle with alcoholism.
George Best, an iconic British sportsman, has never been out of the media even though he retired many years ago. A liver transplant three years ago should have been his passport to a long and colourful life, but he was never quite able to break free of his dependency on drink.
I do think his premature death is a tragic reminder to sports organisations that they have a shared responsibility to ensure the well-being of sports people once they retire. Imagine the void that’s created when someone has been focused on a sports pursuit since the age of 5 and then `retire` in their mid twenties. What purpose and direction do these individuals then have? But before I start crying into my keyboard, let me finish by recounting this quote from the great man himself which sums up his philosophy on life:
“I spent a lot of money on booze, birds and fast cars – the rest I just squandered”.
Born: 22nd May 1946. Died 25th November 2005. Age: 59.
Tags: General sport