Six of the Best: when George ran riot for Manchester United 50 years ago

07 February 2020 14:32
On 7 February 1970 George Best got six goals at Northampton in the FA Cup in his push to prove the ‘cranks’ wrongThe meticulousness with which even the lowliest football clubs prepare for matches these days makes Northampton’s meeting the day before their FA Cup fifth-round game against Manchester United 50 years ago seem endearingly quaint. Convening in the County Ground boardroom for sherry, the fourth division side’s players were on a promise of a £15-a-man bonus if they could beat their top-flight opponents. Hopeful of an upset, they settled down to be briefed by the club’s scouting department, an elderly local gentleman who had gone to watch United’s most recent match.With players of the calibre of Paddy Crerand, Bobby Charlton and Brian Kidd prognosis was bleak, he told them, but if they could “nobble” Charlton they might have a chance. Sadly, Northampton’s reconnaissance man failed to mention that a 23-year-old by the name of George Best would probably be lining up against them, as the Ballon d’Or and European Cup winner had been serving a month-long ban when the scouting mission was carried out. It would prove, with the benefit of hindsight, quite the oversight. Related: How Premier League clubs are using their winter break this month Continue full article

Source: TheGuardian