George Best – A Memoir by Michael Parkinson with a postscript by Michael Parkinson Junior is a unique biography of football legend, George Best, written by the equally legendary journalist and broadcaster. It contains edited excerpts from interviews with George Best from “Parkinson” in 1973, 1975 and 2001 and from “Parkinson in Australia” in 1983. Also, from “Parkinson” with Sir Matt Busby in 1973, John Arlott in 1981 and Sir Bobby Charlton in 2007.
One of the most famous footballers of all time, and dubbed “The Fifth Beatle”, George Best changed the image of a sportsman. Playing football with a wide range of skills that was beyond belief, he was responsible for changing the face of football to a new form of entertainment that resulted in raised levels of earning potential. Sadly, alcoholism destroyed the life that should have been and he walked away at the age of 27, never reaching his full potential.
A world star and a sex symbol, Best became an integral part of the “Swinging Sixties”, one of the beautiful people in a London that rocked. He became an icon to football fans all over the world. Living a tumultuous life, both in private and public, he died in 2005 after battling with alcoholism. Best is someone who has crossed over into legend status, with his personal life sometimes overshadowing his footballing prowess.
He received what amounted to a state funeral at Stormont Castle in Belfast on December 3rd 2005. An estimated 100,000 people lined the route of the funeral procession.
Not only is this a memoir of George Best, it is also a tribute to those who lost their lives in the Munich air disaster. Also to Sir Matt Busby, who survived it to re-build the Manchester United team and to re-design the Old Trafford stadium.
The fact that Michael Parkinson was a long-time personal friend of George makes this an intimate and moving story of a troubled, destructive football icon, and a true friend, who was forced to watch his decline. In his inimitable style, Parkinson writes of the highs and tragic lows of the man who most enjoyed nothing more than a light-hearted kick-about with the Parkinson children in their back garden. His poignant narrative and obvious affection for his friend have the reader longing for a happier conclusion.
A superb must read whether or not you are a football tragic!
George Best – A Memoir is available in hardback and paperback
About Michael Parkinson
Michael Parkinson was born in Cudworth, near Barnsley. He began his career as a journalist, but later moved to television where he worked for Granada on current affairs programmes before joining the BBC 24 hours team. In 1965 he began writing a weekly sports column for The Sunday Times. His chat show Parkinson ran for 11 years, from 1971 until 1982 and from 1979 to 1982 he also presented Parkinson for ABC and Channel 10 in Australia, and in the 1980s he was one of the founder members of TV AM. Also in the 1980’s he presented the Michael Parkinson Show on LBC, a daily, live three hour radio show and Desert Island Discs on Radio 4. In the 1990’s he presented Parkinson on Sport for Radio 5 and a Sunday morning show, Parkinson’s Sunday Supplement on Radio 2, with music and guests, which is still on air today. He also joined the Daily Telegraph, writing a regular weekly column on sport. He has won numerous awards and in 1998 he won awards for his work in three different branches of the media – a feat thought to be unique. In June 2000, Michael was awarded a CBE and Parkinson was named one of the top ten favourite British TV programmes of all time. A new series of Parkinson began on ITV in 2004 and continued till November 2007. He was awarded a knighthood for services to broadcasting in the 2008 New Year’s honours list. Happily married to his wife Mary for nearly fifty years, they have three sons.