All Manchester United fans love him; all football fans respect his immense talents.
But Best was so much more than just a footballer. He was flash, he was quick-witted and he was confident, bordering on arrogance. He was, in essence, the first playboy footballer.
Nowadays even Nicklas Bendtner and Joey Barton can give it the big one, but in Best’s time – when many of his opponents were burly, no-nonsense, salt-of-the-earth men – if you said something, you’d better be able to back it up on the pitch. And Best did just that, and more.
Here are some of his greatest ever one-liners.
Best on his vices
“In 1969 I gave up women and alcohol – it was the worst 20 minutes of my life.”
Best on his Misses
“I used to go missing a lot… Miss Canada, Miss United Kingdom, Miss World.”
Best on wasting cash
“I spent a lot of money on booze, birds and fast cars. The rest I just squandered.”
Best of both worlds
“If you’d given me the choice of going out and beating four men and smashing a goal in from thirty yards against Liverpool or going to bed with Miss World, it would have been a difficult choice. Luckily, I had both.”
Best on Beckham
“He cannot kick with his left foot, he cannot head a ball, he cannot tackle and he doesn’t score many goals. Apart from that he’s all right.”
Best on (Cristiano) Ronaldo
“There have been a few players described as the new George Best over the years, but this is the first time it’s been a compliment to me”
Best on Gazza
“I once said Gazza’s IQ was less than his shirt number and he asked me: ‘What’s an IQ?’
Best on the knighthood
“On being sent to prison for drink driving in 1984: ‘Well, I suppose that’s the knighthood f****d.'”
Best on his problems
“I was born with a great gift, and sometimes with that comes a destructive streak. Just as I wanted to outdo everyone when I played, I had to outdo everyone when we were out on the town”
Best on being anonymous
“I might go to Alcoholics Anonymous, but I think it would be difficult for me to remain anonymous”
Best on his legacy
“They’ll forget all the rubbish when I’ve gone and they’ll remember the football. If only one person thinks I’m the best player in the world, that’s good enough for me.”