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Football legend George Best died (

26 nov 2005 - Source:

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Football legend George Best died in a west London hospital on Friday at the age of 59, after having developed a lung infection. The man from Northern Ireland had been in hospital since the beginning of October. Fifth Beatle'With the slogan 'Good, Better, Best' George Best was admired in the swinging sixties by the English press, who would often refer to him as 'the Fifth Beatle'. Best was the centre of interest both on and off the pitch. He was born on 22 May and was generally regarded the most talented British footballer of all time. Best was adept with both feet, had speed and superb dribbling skills, was strong in the air and had great goal scoring prowess. He was named Footballer of the Year in Europe in 1968. He clinched League Championships with Manchester United in 1965 and 1967 and won the European Cup in 1968. Best won 37 international caps for Northern Ireland. He was the star of Manchester United and made appearances together with Dennis Law and Bobby Charlton.Alcohol problemsHe was just as brilliant on the pitch as reckless as he was away from it. He was often involved in bouts of hard drinking. He was arrested and convicted, due to his alcohol problems and nightclub brawls. He was criticized and at the same time admired for his recalcitrant behaviour. Best was only 26 years when he parted company with Manchester United in January 1974. He had made 466 appearances for the Mancunians in which he scored 178 goals. His exuberant life style started to take its toll. In the following ten years he played, briefly, for 11 different clubs, including Fulham, Hibernian and three American sides. When he had played his final match, the alcohol problems soon became worse. Yet they did not affect his popularity with the general public. The national hero was treated in hospital several times. He would then appear on TV and claim the experience had made him turn over a new leaf. He was welcomed like the prodigal son, but within a few months, news on problems and drinking bouts was published once again. His condition deteriorated sharply and he was admitted to hospital at the beginning of October, where he developed a lung infection that led to internal bleeding. Guus HiddinkGuus Hiddink was a team mate of Best, during his spell with San Jose Earthquakes in the United States of America in1980. Hiddink was asked to comment on Best’s deteriorating condition last night on Dutch national radio. The PSV head coach praised Best for his performances in that period. "He had left behind all those extravagances. He was very much involved with what went on at the club and with football and you could see what a special kind of player he was, also at later age. He loved the game and I think he has always done so. I will remember him as a very amiable personality. I met him a few times after our American adventure and he always made an impact on me.”All Premier League games this weekend will observe a minute's silence. George Best passed away at the age of 59.