Chat show legend Sir Michael Parkinson has spoken fondly of his friendship with George Best and told how he still misses the Northern Ireland footballing legend.
“When George arrived on the scene he was like the fifth Beatle, a beautiful lad, a pop idol of his time. He was designed for the Sixties,” he said.
“But there was no protection around him like there is around the likes of David Beckham. Modern footballers are not privy to the strange journey George had to make.
“He was a complicated character and, yes, he had his problems, but there was no self-pity. I never heard him complain or bitch.
“George was easy to criticise but he was hard not to love. And I still miss him and think about him. In my son Nick’s pub we have a corner dedicated to George, a constant reminder.”
Parky, as he is affectionately known, recalled the Belfast man coming to his house.
“We would be having these parties on the lawn and the great and good would be there and George would arrive down,” he said.
“Everyone else would be mingling and George would be kicking a ball with the kids. They loved him and he had a great affinity with them. Adults bothered George, not children.”
The 74-year-old said he built up a relationship with Best after interviewing him several times on his show. He said he was one of his favourite guests.
“It’s the people whose lives you can chart, the ones who come back, they are my favourite interviewees and George fell into that category,” he said.
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