Best kicks off in Italian wine business

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The Independent Online
After years spent indulging in the finest tipples on the market, George Best, the legendary footballer, has gone into the wine-selling business.

The former Manchester United striker (right) has become a sleeping partner in a West London venture importing wines and delicacies from Italy.

His close friend Carlo Cataldi, who owns a restaurant in Fulham, south- west London, will look after the day-to-day running of the business while Best remains a non-executive director free to appreciate the company's liquid assets. Mr Cataldi and his wine guru Luigi Bolzon are confident that the involvement of such a well-known name will guarantee that the business is a success.

Before hanging up his boots in exchange for less energetic pursuits, Best notched up 115 goals in 290 league FA Cup and European matches.

Mr Cataldi said: "George ... has been coming to the restaurant for years. I got to know and befriend him and now we have decided to work together."

But Best himself is unlikely to be a regular sight behind the shop counter. "I've got enough to do anyway, what with charity matches, my writing for Punch, commentary for Sky TV and various other things," he said.