He was one of the greatest footballers of all times. Such is the admiration he inspires in his native Northern Ireland that they express it in this, the simplest of one-liners: `Maradona good; PelÃÂ© better; George Best.`
But for all his success on the field, Best led a mostly tragic life off it, a fact poignantly summed up by what the News of the World published, reportedly at his own insistence, as his farewell message: `Don`t die like me.`
One of the first celebrity footballers and a man who was hailed as the fifth Beatle, Best was a chronic alcoholic. There was gambling and womanising too and all this meant that despite being one of the gameÃÂs true geniuses, Manchester United, the club where he had played his most memorable football, sacked him when he was 27.
Later, came arrests for drunk driving, an incident in which he assaulted a police officer, allegations of domestic violence and an infamous interview on primetime BBC during which he was clearly drunk and swore more than once.
In 2002, Best was forced to undergo a liver transplant, but his failure to overcome his alcoholism even after that played a significant part in his death at the relatively young age of 59 on November 25, 2005. A sad end indeed to the life of a superstar, one of whose autobiographies bore the rather eloquent title - The Good, The Bad and The Bubbly.