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George Best

(1946-2005), Footballer

Sitter in 7 portraits
Arguably the greatest player in British football history. Belfast-born Best was already a Manchester United and Northern Ireland star aged 17. Dubbed 'El Beatle' by Portuguese press reporters in 1966 after United beat Benfica 5-1 in Lisbon, Best's fashion sense and Beatle haircut saw him emerge as the first 'pop-star' footballer. The leading scorer for United in the Football First Division in 1967-8, he won a European Cup medal and the title of European Footballer of the Year. Best also played for Northern Ireland thirty-seven times from 1964-77. In later years he was also known for his troubled lifestyle, departing from United in 1974 after falling out with the management, and retiring completely from the game in 1983.

Watch a film clip on the sitter from the BBC Archive in the Media section below

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George Best, by Neil Libbert - NPG P761

George Best

by Neil Libbert
bromide print, 1965
NPG P761

Bobby Moore; George Best, by Syndication International Ltd - NPG x199765

Bobby Moore; George Best

by Syndication International Ltd
bromide print, 3 October 1964
On display in Room 32 at the National Portrait Gallery
NPG x199765

George Best, by Sefton Samuels - NPG x34368

George Best

by Sefton Samuels
bromide print, 31 May 1968
NPG x34368

George Best, by Sefton Samuels - NPG x34369

George Best

by Sefton Samuels
bromide print, 31 May 1968
NPG x34369

George Best, by Sefton Samuels - NPG x923

George Best

by Sefton Samuels
bromide fibre print on card mount, 31 May 1968
NPG x923

George Best, by Andrew Catlin - NPG x128833

George Best

by Andrew Catlin
bromide fibre print, August 1987
NPG x128833

George Best, by Trevor Ray Hart - NPG x87120

George Best

by Trevor Ray Hart
C-type colour print, 22 November 1995
NPG x87120

Media

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