Manchester: Manchester United’s supporters paid tribute to late club great George Best as their team played PSV Eindhoven on Wednesday, 10 years to the day since he died aged 59.
Fans illuminated the screens on their smartphones and held them aloft during the seventh minute of the Champions League game, in a nod to the shirt number most closely associated with the richly talented Northern Irish winger.
Supporters had earlier hung a new banner in the stadium bearing the legend ‘GEORGIE… SIMPLY THE BEST,’ while fans laid roses at Best’s feet on the statue of him, Denis Law and Bobby Charlton that stands on the Old Trafford forecourt.
The dashing Best, who won the 1968 Ballon d’Or, played 470 times and scored 179 goals for United, winning two First Division titles and scoring in the club’s European Cup final triumph over Benfica in 1968.
But he left aged 27 after becoming disillusioned with the game and wound down his career over a nomadic 10-year period that took in sporadic spells at clubs in England, Scotland and North America.
Heralded as one of the game’s finest players by greats such as Pele, Diego Maradona and Franz Beckenbauer, Best was renowned for his charisma and playboy lifestyle but struggled with alcoholism in later life.