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West Bromwich Albion in the Premier League.
Sunday 17th December 2017, KO 14:15 UTC.
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Lawman
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January 19th, 1972 vs Southampton

Sat Jan 19, 2008 2:28 pm

Extracted from an old On This Day in Our History
1972 won (after extra time) against Southampton at home in the FA Cup (4-1)


I remember that game vividly It was 0-1 with about 5 minutes left and Johnny Aston came on and equalized - we had been garbage up until then

In extra time George played them on his own, every time we got the ball we gave it to him and he just ripped them to shreds

It was probably the last time we saw the real George Best, the will 'o the wisp, everyone of us who were there that night had our breath taken away by that first ten minutes of extra time, he was incredible - no disrespect meant but you know how Ronaldo and Rooney played against Newcastle? the chances, the shots and near misses? Well he did more than both of them in that ten minutes - I don't know if you were there Condor, but remember his first goal, the one that put us 2-1 in front, he started his run by winning the ball inside our penalty box from a Southampton corner - he was out of this world

After that he never ever played like that again, he sank to the low of just being the best footballer in Britain, sadly it was to be against this same team at home on the 25th of November the same year that we saw him for the last time as anything like George Best - he retired just days later

He was to return for 12 games the following season, even scored twice - but everyone of us who saw him in the home game against Chelsea knew deep down that there wasn't going to be any comeback this time

The tragic thing was, overweight and slow as he was, he was still the only thing that stood between us and relegation - he went and so did we



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abidan
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Re: January 19th, 1972 vs Southampton

Mon Jan 21, 2008 10:15 am

Lawman, in your opinion, if he had taken the straight and narrow path instead of the road to oblivion, how long could he have gone on for us, and would have he have stayed with us throughout his career ?

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Re: January 19th, 1972 vs Southampton

Sat Jan 26, 2008 11:55 am

ABIDAN wrote:Lawman, in your opinion, if he had taken the straight and narrow path instead of the road to oblivion, how long could he have gone on for us, and would have he have stayed with us throughout his career ?
As he said once "If I had been the model professional my career would have gone on as long as Bobby Charltons, but it wouldn't have been as much fun"

What people forget is George was an alcoholic, he didn't chose to be that, he probably inherited the disease, it killed his Mother, sadly it's still killing people today, no matter how smart people are or how educated alcohol is the one disease they can't beat

He would probably have played until well into his his 30s, I saw him when he was about 45, it was over in Adelaide just a friendly, he was 3 parts pissed, and really unfit yet he still ran rings around players of 20-25

If he had played on he would certainly have stayed at United, he didn't want to go anywhere else, he said that many times, and remember he stayed right up to and into the relegation season and it was only because of Docherty he went then, he was disillusioned with football, not with Manchester United, he played alongside what was towards the end a fornicate bunch of wankers, but he still stayed

George talked later on how he felt Matt should have rebuilt the team around him and not Bobby Charlton, maybe so, but I believe Matt had a very good reason for not rebuilding it around George

As far back as 1966 Matt had George in his office and gave him a stern lecture, about the company he was keeping, his fast cars (he'd been in 3 accidents in as many months) the women and his general lifestyle - Bestie said "Sorry Boss, it won't happen again" but as Michael Parkinson said "Matt had this niggling doubt" and later on Matt referred to what was called his "Niggling doubt" after George missed the teams train to Chelsea, and got suspended by United for two weeks

I think Matt knew were George was headed, he tried to keep him on the right path - but like many others - alcohol beat him as well

Like Bill Wilson, the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous said "No matter what your status, your position, scientist or street sweeper, your race, creed or colour, man or woman, alcohol will destroy you and everyone around you, and then take everything you own, including your life"

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Re: January 19th, 1972 vs Southampton

Sun Dec 19, 2010 12:20 pm

word4word wrote:Hi Lawman,

I'd like to confirm your account of the replay against Southampton. I was staying in a B&B near Trafford Park in Manchester that week on a training programme with the company I had just started work for. I had travelled up from Birmingahm with another trainee. We were both football mad (he supported Hamilton Academicals in Scotland). It was worth it. Best was simply fantastic. I've never seen a footballer then or now to touch him. Even Lionel Messi of Barcelona couldn't do what he did sometimes. Given that pitches then were not smooth like now, and in the winter months they cut up badly around the goalmouth, his ball control was phenomenal.

I feel privileged to have seen Best that night, towards the end of his career with United. I have a memory of the other goal he scored as being equally brilliant. Of course, time can play tricks on us all. I think he beat at least two Southampton players on the left edge of their penalty area. He received the ball with his back to the goal, then flicked it up and over the first defender, trapped the ball on the other side and dribbled it past the next defender before scoring the goal. The order could have been different. It all happened so quickly that even now I have doubts about what I saw. I would love to know if anyone has an access to a report of the game in the Manchester Evening News or another independent source to see if my memory is correct or not.

By the way I've been an Aston Villa supporter since 1957 (age 10) when they beat United in the FA Cup final that year (2-1). I hope you won't hold that against me.
Nice of you to post mate.We haven't many (if any) posters left on the board who saw George play.Lawman was a much valued and respected member of this board but sadly he no longer posts on here so it was nice to read a post and a recollection from someone who saw Best play again.Cheers (Y)

As for being a Villa fan,we wont hold that against you.Villa park has always been such a lovely place for United to visit. :P

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Re: January 19th, 1972 vs Southampton

Sun Dec 19, 2010 1:45 pm

Bump of the year (Y)
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