This website and its associated newspaper are members of Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO). The former European Cup winner put in arguably his finest performance in a green and white jersey as he led his side to a 2-1 victory. Although not as fit as he was in his prime his incredible skills were still undisputed. George Best, one of the greatest ever players to kick a football, is also down on his luck after a rather sad and nomadic period in his career since his acrimonious departure from Manchester United in 1974. Another league title win gave Busby a further crack at the European Cup, which meant so much to the club and they progressed to meet Benfica at Wembley in the final. One man who disagreed however was Manchester United scout Bob Bishop, who, after watching George play, sent a telegram to Manchester United's manager Matt Busby. A few inspiring flashes of greatness aside, it was mostly the latter. Hibs v Kilmarnock 10.11.1979 (possible signing) Hibs v St Mirren 24.11.1979 - Debut game. The abuse stopped to be replaced by laughter at both ends of the stadium. Over the next weeks, his condition deteriorated and on 25th November, surrounded by his close family and friends, he lost his battle for life. In 1965, alongside Dennis Law and Bobby Charlton, George helped United win the league title which resulted in entry into the European Cup. Best’s noticeably more portly frame and stubble-covered double chin were of no immediate concern to the Easter Road faithful who were simply over the moon to see such a globally-revered superstar don the famous green and white. In a rearranged game at Pittodrie, George got involved with a famous argument with Willie Miller who made some disparaging remarks about Hibs' and in particular George's performance in a 1-1 draw, but he responded by suggesting that the dropped point had cost Aberdeen the league title. In November 1979, Hibs unveiled a new signing which shook the football world.

He returned briefly to the reserves before being recalled to play against Burnley in December and the youngster scored his first goal for the club in a comprehensive victory. That summer, George relaxed in California but returned to play four league games in the first division and two league cup ties, none of which were lost.

It’s season 1979/1980, and with just one win from their opening 14 league fixtures, Hibernian are rooted to the foot of the Scottish Premier Division. He was sent back to London, and it appeared that his short career with Hibs was over, but when he admitted to being an alcoholic and started taking antibuse tablets which would make him ill if he drank spirits, Hart invited him back and arranged for him and wife Angie to move into a flat. George’s career at Hibs came to an end in October 1980 after just four First Division appearances. In the end though, the occasional brilliance of their Northern Irish talisman wasn’t enough. Best’s struggles with alcohol would go on to plague him for years to come, ultimately resulting in his death at the age of 59 in 2005. George Best at Hibernian. February was a disastrous month for both George and the club. If you can add to any historical article, perhaps with special memories, a favourite story or the results of your original research, the Hibernian Historical Trust would love to hear from you. That game now forms part of Hibs folklore as George was constantly abused by the visiting fans who at one point threw a few beer cans in his direction. “The marriage between George Best and Hibernian is over,” announced Tom Hart, who emphasised the point by sweeping his hand across a table of glasses to send them crashing to the ground. The next day, George agreed to sign for £2,000 per game which Tom Hart reportedly paid from how own pocket. 23,000 turned out for the game and afterwards George claimed to be 70% fit. George’s self-destruct switch was flipped on a frequent basis, though the player was man enough to admit it: “To be honest, I couldn’t take it (playing for Hibs) seriously and the alcoholism had kicked in to the point where, if I were in a bar and enjoying myself, I wouldn’t leave for anyone or anything.”.

The Hibs' fans in the 5000 crowd gave him a tremendous reception when he took his seat, and again when he drew the winning ticket in the half time draw. ©JPIMedia Publishing Ltd. All rights reserved. In December 2001 he received an honorary doctorate from Queens University and in April 2002, Freedom of the Borough of Castlereagh. Despite boasting a former European Golden Boot winner in their ranks, Hibernian were relegated for only the second time in their history. He definitely played in at least 22 games, but which ones? Mind you, the Easter Road faithful surely won’t care one bit. Troubled Best had spent the last few seasons plying his trade in the lower tiers of English football before heading off to play in America for Los Angeles Aztecs while still registered at Fulham. The following week, Best’s handsome wage packet proved to be a sound investment as over 20,000 fans crammed into Easter Road for the Northern Irishman’s home debut. George’s career at Hibs came to an end in October 1980 after just four First Division appearances. Hibs were due to play Celtic the following day, but George felt that it wasn't a good idea for him to play and asked for a week to step up his fitness. Best had spent a mere 325 days in Edinburgh, playing 22 times and scoring 3 goals; his lack of sobriety unquestionably the main cause of his downfall. When Matt Busby retired George's love of football diminished and after seeing United beaten by teams they used to hammer a few years previously was painful for him. George would later return to Easter Road for a friendly with his new club San Jose Earthquakes, and one final time in 1984 for Jackie McNamara’s testimonial. With one or two exceptions Hibernian’s crop of ’79 are the equivalent of a gentle breeze in comparison to the trophy-lifting Tornadoes of ’72. • Visit Lost Edinburgh on their Facebook page, and follow them on Twitter @lostedinburgh. The 33-year-old former Manchester United ace was enticed to … The ex-Hibs manager was not impressed in the slightest by Best’s performances: “He was overweight, unfit and frankly not ready to play professional football at a high level.”. One game however stands out above all the others, when George produced a vintage display in a 2-0 win over Dundee, scoring a magnificent solo goal to the delight of the supporters. Hart contacted Fulham who gave permission for Hibs to speak to George, and whilst many thought this a publicity stunt, the doubters were silenced when he appeared in the director's box for a home game against Kilmarnock. George Best departs. His last game was a 2-0 win against Falkirk and Hibs made him captain for the day. The deal was negotiated against the wishes of manager Eddie Turnbull, who described Best as ‘a drunkard’, but Hart refused to pay any notice. In just a few short years they have descended from being a domestic and continental force during the ‘Turnbull’s Tornadoes’ era to firm candidates for relegation. In November 1979, Hibs unveiled a new signing which shook the football world. Hibs v Partick Thistle 01.12.1979. It almost did, but the Dons, under Alex Ferguson and Pat Stanton pipped Celtic, winning the championship with a 5-0 win over Hibs at Easter Road. George calmly defused a potentially ugly situation by picking one of the cans up and pretending to take a sip from it.

George Best, Britain’s answer to Pelé and Maradona, played for Hibernian, and that can never be taken away from them. Lea Michele racism allegations: what Samantha Ware and Naya Rivera said about the Glee star after Black Lives Matter tweets - plus her apology, SAS: Red Notice: release date, plot and who stars in the cast alongside Outlander's Sam Heughan. The telegram simply read: "I think I've found you a genius.". Instead of building on that success however, United rested on their laurels and the modelling assignments and personal appearances became overwhelming and temporarily took its toll on George's football career. He made his debut in the green and white jersey at Love Street against St Mirren on 24 November 1979, and Paisley had never witnessed so many press photographers behind the goal. Hibs v Kilmarnock 10.11.1979 (possible signing), Hamburg v Eintracht Frankfurt 01.12.1979 (Keegan), Hibs v Meadowbank Thistle (Livingstone) 26.01.1980 - Scottish Cup 3rd Round, Hibs v Ayr United 17.02.1980 - Scottish Cup 4th Round (Best banned for this game), Hibs v Berwick 08.03.1980 - Scottish Cup 5th Round, Hibs v Berwick 12.03.1980 - Scottish Cup 5th Round Replay, Hibs v Berwick 12.03.1980 - Scottish Cup 5th Round Replay - George Best Signature, Hibs v Celtic 12.04.1980 Scottish Cup Semi Final, Hibs v Alloa 30.08.1980 - Scottish League Cup 2nd Round 2nd Leg, Hibs v Dundee 09.09.1980 (Best still not back), Hibs v Clyde 24.09.1980 - Scottish League Cup 3rd Round 2nd Leg, Hibs v Ayr United 08.10.1980 - Scottish League Cup Quarter Final 1st Leg, Hibs v Falkirk 11.10.1980 - Best's last game, Hibs v Ayr United 22.10.1980 -Scottish League Cup Quarter Final 2nd Leg - Describes Best's last game, Hibs v Ayr United 25.10.1980 - Best had now left the club, Hibs v Dundee 07.02.1981 - Gone but still on cover, Hibs v Hamilton 21.02.1981 - Gone but still on the cover, Hibs v East Stirling 11.04.1981 - Gone but still on the cover, Hibs v San Jose 05.10.1981 - George returns with the Americans, Hibs v Newcastle 05.08.1984 - McNamara Testimonial, English Amateurs Tour of Australia & New Zealand 1937, The Programmes – 1939/40 (The Aborted Season), Uncle Alf: Part 1 – Stockton Schoolboys and the County Team, Uncle Alf: Part 2 – Stan Cullis and David Jack come calling, Uncle Alf: Part 3 – Stockton, South Bank, The Army & Boro Reserves, England 1950/51 & FA Tour to Australia 1951, Notts County & Brentford 1951-52 (Lawton), England 1952 – 1953 & The Coronation Cup May 1953, England 1955-1956 & FA Tour of South Africa 1956, Internationals & World Cup Qualifiers 1956/57, Peterborough, Sheffield Wednesday & Sheffield United 1957 – 1958, Bolton, Stockton, Middlesbrough FA Cup Winners 1957 – 1958, Spurs 1960/61 – Double Winning Season – Friendlies & Reserves, England (Prior to Alf Ramsey) 1961 – 1963, George Best 1962 – 1973 – While it was still serious, Middlesbrough 1966-1967 3rd Division Promotion, Middlesbrough 1973 – 1974 Division 2 Champions, How to Spot a Fake or Forged Football Programme, How Football Programmes Show the Evolution of Mass Advertising.

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