Today celebrates 50 years since the iconic boy band The Beatles first appeared in America on the Ed Sullivan Show. It was also 50 years ago that FIFA great George Best became known as the Fifth Beatle.
Not only did the British group become the greatest band in music history. But, it’s global fame and distinct look engendered one of the best (no pun intended) nicknames in sports history.
Flamboyant FIFA footballer George Best from Northern Ireland became known as the Fifth Beatle.
At the time, Best’s new moniker was regarded as the best sports and entertainment nickname on the planet.
However, soccer fans, especially those of British descent, strongly disagree. They recognize Northern Ireland’s George Best as the Fifth Beatle. For his iconic celebrity, he’s idolized as one of the most gifted and entertaining soccer players ever.
Best’s speed, acceleration, brilliant footwork and hard charging style quickly made him a fan favorite and an elite EPL performer. His ability to regularly put the ball in the back of the net earned him the European Footballer of the Year Award in 1968.
Best’s emergence as a beloved English athlete took place in the British music era of the Beatles. They were exploding as the rock ‘n roll band that would eventually sell one billion records and become a world wide entertainment sensation.
Though he excelled as one of FIFA’s most dynamic stars while on the pitch, George Best also partied like a rock star when away from it.
Unfortunately, Best’s undisciplined and extravagant lifestyle contributed to his demise as a player and also as an individual.
One of the many colorful quotes attributed to this Fifth Beatle reads, “I spent 90% of my money on women, drink and fast cars. The rest I wasted.” The words were funny, but sadly, true.
George Best died an alcoholic in 2005 due to complications from a liver transplant.
On a mural in his native Belfast, Northern Ireland, these words are written to memorialize George Best. They illuminate what any soccer fan, plus all of the musical Beatles, would agree with concerning this Fifth Beatle, “Maradona good. Pele better. George Best.”
MIKE – thee ultimate talking head on sports!