George Best died on 25 November 2005, aged 59, therefore, and as we approach the 13th anniversary of his passing Vital Hibs thought we would pay homage to one of the most iconic and entertaining footballers ever to grace Easter Road.
Those of us from a specific era were lucky enough to witness George on a pitch rather than in a boozer. We knew as soon as he arrived his best days were behind him. Nevertheless, the Northern Ireland icon will always remain in our hearts and memories.
Over the years there has been a lot written, and so I want this article to focus on images, video clips, and Hibee fan memories. If you want to know more about his Hibernian career may I suggest you click/tab here?
What I will say is between 1979 and 1980 (325 days) George played 22 times and scored three goals.
Periodically and throughout we will add fans memories, courtesy of hibs.net.
Another programme I picked up. Confused me at first as it had action from a Fulham v Wolves match with George Best and Willie Carr on the front. However, this is the programme from George Best's first match for Hibernian. George scored in the match but St. Mirren won 2-1. pic.twitter.com/8obGeL0oVu
— Scotland Epistles Football Magazine (@davstu11) June 24, 2018
Hale Hibby – “My abiding memory of George Best at Hibs was when he turned out in a (?League) cup match against East Fife (I think). I was in the lower West stand. During the match George had been on the receiving end of some pretty rough treatment from two East Fife players. Then things changed. He received the ball close to the touchline, just in front of me. He dribbled the ball through both players, leaving them stranded, on the ground. He stopped, sat on the ball and then sprayed a perfect pass across the pitch. A great moment. Needless to say, for the rest of the match, he was no longer troubled by the East Fife players – what a player.”
— Football Memories (@footballmemorys) May 25, 2018
Deansy – “Most vivid memory is reaching the top of the terracing and seeing the crowd (circa 23,000?) at ER waiting to witness his 1st home-game at ER v Partick Thistle!”
Two late football legends, John Lambie and George Best when at Hibs.@HibsOfficial @Hibernian_FC @hibsnet @CalumBest @JimSpenceSport @SuperbFootyPics @UtdBeforeFergie @YesterdaysStars @HFCTransferNews @The_Proclaimers @GrantStottOnAir @Detroit67Book @TonyIncenzo pic.twitter.com/OO1VZ2xdv0
— Andy The Photo Dr (@andythephotoDr) April 14, 2018
E10 Rifle – “Whatever state he was in physically or emotionally, the very fact the club pulled this off and had him playing for the Hibees was a masterstroke of its time.”
George Best at Hibernian, lucky enough back then to see him wearing it and playing for Hibs ???????????? pic.twitter.com/M5oMx42oNh
— Andrew Westwater (@WestwaterAndrew) February 19, 2018
RIP Bestie – “The greatest player in the world in my opinion and an absolute honour to see him in a Hibs strip.”
— Avalanche Records (@avalanche_edin) November 24, 2017
Iggy Pope – “The week before, the top of the lane was rammed with Hibbies trying to get on a bus to Paisley. Maude looked after her regulars but was at her most mercenary with the ‘space’ available. I think the crowd at Love St for his debut was 12,000 or so, probably twice what could be expected and at least half of them green. And Christ, Hibs were honking.
“I got his and Debbie Harry’s autograph on the same night. Blondie was playing the Odeon and staying at the NB, and a few of us punkers had the savvy to learn this. George was most accommodating as these were also his ‘digs.’ Wonder what was going through his mind…
“My abiding memory though, is him hitting the net v Celtic and taking Peter Latchford into the net with it.”
George Best at Hibernian FC, flanked by team-mates Tony Higgins, Joe Ward & Jackie MacNamara. Pic: Kent Gavin pic.twitter.com/Uif44ooCTf
— PictureThis Scotland (@74frankfurt) August 29, 2017
Bostonhibby – “Seen every one of his games for us – class is permanent – he didn’t have to run much because he could always put the ball where he wanted it to be. Highlight for me was when he drew the raffle at the opening of an exhaust centre at Peirshill – my Ma won it
“Got an original photo of the great man signing somewhere, will look it out and post when I get home. Will we ever see days like this again?”
— John Ludden (@Johnludds) December 21, 2016
heretoday – “George enjoyed his time in Edinburgh and certainly grabbed all the plaudits and press freebies that were going! He didn’t have his mind 100% on Hibs to be fair, but he did pretty well. At the end of the day, it was a masterstroke by Tom Hart to sign him.”
— OldFootballPhotos (@OldFootball11) November 29, 2016
Bobo – “Best was paid £2000 per game, and Tom Hart didn’t need to take the money back from gate receipts as it was pin money to him. Even if Tom Hart did want to recoup his money, then it was more than covered from the first home attendance against Partick. George Best played 22 games for Hibs, so a total of £44000 in wages were paid. There was over 20000 for the Partick game so do the maths.
“Personally I feel honoured to have had the chance to see George Best wear the green and white of Hibs. He may have been in the twilight of his career at the time but was easily the best player in Scotland by a mile and well worth any financial outlay.”
George Best in action for Hibernian against St Mirren at Love Street pic.twitter.com/T5Z8DYN4ge
— PictureThis Scotland (@74frankfurt) October 20, 2015
weecounty hibbe – “I was at most of the games that George played in, and I will never forget the first at St Mirren, his first at ER and the match v Celtic when he scored. I know all the stories and how much he was paid but all that mattered to me as a 10/11-year-old was that one of the greatest footballers ever was wearing that magnificent green and white strip. I have a photo of him and me together at ER and an autographed programme, and they are treasured possessions.”
— A Football Archive* (@FootballArchive) February 12, 2015
skipster7- “Me and my pal sneaked in about an hour before Macnamara’s testimonial and hid in the long grass behind the cave until gates opened. Newcastle had a good team with Waddle and Beardsley playing and won 3-0. George Best still had some brilliant touches and was by far, and away the best Hibs player on show must have been 1984. Different class.”
Thank you for the memories.