Legend Best’s awards could fetch £270,000 in Chester

Reporter:

Staff reporter

A COLLECTION of football legend George Best’s awards has gone on display before being sold at auction in Chester.

The top lot is the Northern Irishman’s 1968 European Cup winner’s medal, awarded after Manchester United’s 4-1 victory over Benfica at Wembley.

It has attracted a pre-sale estimate of £90,000-£120,000.

Another highlight is the 1968 Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year trophy.

The annual award recognised Best as the top player of the season in English football as voted for by 400 football journalists. The collection is estimated to be worth £270,000 and also includes Best’s 2002 BBC Lifetime Achievement Award.

The awards will be displayed in central London before being sold at Bonhams in Chester on October 20.

They have been put up for auction by the executors of Best’s estate.

He died in 2005, aged 59, after decades of alcohol abuse which had led to his undergoing a liver transplant.

Best was discovered in Belfast, aged 15, by Manchester United scout Bob Bishop.

He turned professional and made his debut for Manchester United in 1963.

He made 466 appearances for Manchester United in all competitions, scoring 178 goals.

In 1974, Best was sacked by United for excessive drinking and persistent failure to attend training sessions and matches.

Over the next decade, Best drifted between several clubs including Fulham, Stockport County, Dunstable Town, Hibernian, Los Angeles Aztecs, San Jose Earthquakes and finally Bournemouth until he retired from the game in 1983 at the age of 37. He was capped 37 times by Northern Ireland, scoring nine goals.

He played mainly as a winger and was known for his stunning dribbling skills.

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