When not at work, l have been keeping myself out of mischief (alongside trips to the pub) and devouring some books about George Best, with varying results. 'Loving George' (by Alex Best) is her tale about their relationship, and it's often not very easy reading. Despite the fact l loved George Best for his football skills and cheeky charm, there is no disputing the fact he could be a nasty drunk and violent to women, and this is one of the main themes of the later part of the book. In my humble opinion, Alex should have left him earlier, and despite her claims not to be interested in the fame and money, l still find it hard to believe she would have stuck with 'Bestie' as long as she did (or even married him in the first place) without the trappings of fame that went along with it. I know lots of women do so without the celebrity attachments, but they often expect no better because of their background, or put up with it for financial security (and often, for the children). Either way, there are no winners in that kind of situation.
'A Life In The News' (edited by Richard Williams) features reproduced newspaper reports about Best's matches, interviews and viewpoints by journalists. As you can imagine, it starts off full of praise, and get's more depressing as it goes on, as Best stumbles drunkenly on from one escapade and relationship to another. It was still worth the effort, as it was good to read the match reports from an earlier and more innocent time, when Best was at his peak, and the future was uncertain.
'Best and Edwards - football fame and oblivion' by Gordon Burn was the best of them all (no pun intended), albeit also depressing in it's own way. It covered Duncan Edwards and George Best (as you would expect from the cover), but also Munich, Bobby Charlton, statue makers, Matt Busby, and the eroding respect shown in all walks of life as the years pass by. Times are a changin' (as Bob Dylan so eloquently stated) but it's not always for the advancement of mankind. An excellent read which l would wholeheartedly recommend to anybody, not just Manchester United fans, but it left even a miserable cynic like myself pining for the olden days.