Belfast boy George Best looks forward to a testimonial game with international soccer stars past and present in his home town.
George Best has put together two star-studded teams for his testimonial game scheduled to take place at Belfast’s national football stadium, Windsor Park.
At the Europa Hotel watched by his son Calum, George says the testimonial match will be the climax of his career but he also hopes it will be,
A bit special for the people of my hometown and I’ve done my best to get together two very good sides and I just hope it’s a, you know, one off special occasion.
Among those scheduled to play on the International side at the testimonial match is the Argentine World Cup star Ossie Ardilles who considers George a true football legend.
George ranked with Pelé, with Maradona, only a few selected players that they were really, really on top of the profession at the time.
Also playing at the testimonial are West Germany's Paul Breitner and Wolfgang Overath and Holland’s Johan Neeskens and Rudi Krol.
Special occasion posters and testimonial magazines have been commissioned for the event which will be attended by 27,000 fans. Also attending will be George’s former Manchester United manager Sir Matt Busby, Northern Ireland manager Billy Bingham and television personality Michael Parkinson.
Over the years George’s battle with alcohol and struggles in his personal life has been widely publicised. George says he hit rock bottom at some points but at the age of 42 he has no regrets.
The George Best Testimonial was held on 8 August 1988 and the match finished 7-6 in favour of the Best XI.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 7 August 1988. The reporter is Gary Honeyford.