August 8, 2010 at 11:04 am 4 comments

Oh goody, the football season is upon us again. I am a Manchester United fan.  There, I said it, I am proud of it. There are many out there who despise non-local United fans but I thought I would give you a little context to my forty-plus years of support. This may seem a strange post for me, being that this blog is about getting you all to tell me about your support for children’s charities. However, there is method in my madness as this post is about things I loved as a child and love still.

There is a very simple explanation to my support for Manchester United, the wonderful but ultimately flawed George Best. What else could it be:)

When I was very little, two of my many brothers shared a bedroom. This was when ‘Shoot’ magazine was one of the most popular weekly publications and the boys read it from cover to cover many times. The two boys at that time supported Manchester City and Manchester United so the room was split between blue and red posters. They met in the middle with week-by-week life-size pull-out posters from the middle pages of Shoot. The figures in the middle were Francis Lee and George Best, it was an awesome wall:)

So, at the tender age of 4, I had to make a choice and it had to be based on my brothers’ choices as that is the way of childhood. I don’t recall whether it was the smile, the fact that he was from my home country or the red strip but my choice had to be George Best and therefore Manchester United. Some of the factors that influenced me? Look below, how could I not choose George?

Look at the smile on his beautiful face when United won the European Cup at the end of the 1966/67 season. I say beautiful because he was.

However, I don’t want to focus on George for his looks as his talent also drew many of us to support Manchester United. He had fast feet and resilience in the face of many ‘sturdy’ tackles. Often his goals didn’t appear to be spectacular like the long-range rockets that would fly from Bobby Charlton’s feet. George’s goals were more often the result of dancing past defenders and practically walking the ball into the net. It was only when you studied them watching Match of the Day that you realised the amount of dexterity and determination that was required. No still-life picture will ever give justice to this but I insert one to try…

Of course, the social frenzy that surrounded him led to the start of his downfall. George was the ‘fifth Beatle’ and we have all seen the iconic scenes of champagne fountains, Miss World girlfriends and that iconic quote from one of many Parkinson interviews ‘Mr Best, where did it all go wrong?’ This is a typical image of the glamourous footballer, added to the bedrooom walls of so many boys and girls; all helping to create and maintain the adulation that followed him:

Of course, we know the story of where it did all go wrong and I don’t want to dwell on this, you don’t need me to tell you. However, I hope that amongst tales of wine, women and song, you will remember the talent one man could bring to such a wonderful game. Everyone has flaws but we are luckier than most in that ours aren’t generally available to all. I choose to remember the skill of George Best and will always be grateful that this child chose to follow such an amazing team as Manchester United based on one bedroom wall.

So, this was a post about one small snippet of my childhood, I do hope that you donate to a children’s charity and come back here to tell me about your life. My thanks to you for reading:) I will close with the normal instructions to follow:-

  • Donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice. It is easy to do – online, collection boxes, Give as You Earn. Any amount is important and I am delighted for one pound, dollar, euro, yen to reach a charity.
  • Visit this blog and comment anywhere with the charity, amount including currency and please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I love the stories of childish ambitions:-)

I will then:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • All comments will be stored on the comments page so that you can see what charities people are interested in and also what a variety of 8 year old ambitions we have already. I am looking forward to way more surprises from you all.

The steps are simple. Again, if you like the idea please tell others so that they will come and tell me their stories.

Take care of you and yours.



Entry filed under: Children, Donating, Football, George Best, Manchester United, wheniwas8. Tags: , , , , , .

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Iain  |  January 2, 2011 at 12:28 am

    i managed to see George Best, Bobby Charlton etc when they played Leicester City at the old Filbert St. The excitement of seeing Manchester United then i can still remember to this day.
    My main memory of the game though was when Bobby Charlton took a corner kick, he had to put his foot behind him pushing away against the concrete wall because it was a very small run off into that corner then. My friend and I in that corner crowd did our very best to pull his shorts down but our small arms couldn’t reach!
    Happy days………….(;-)

    • 2. when i was 8 i wanted to be....  |  January 2, 2011 at 10:01 am

      Hi Iain,

      Well, who would have thought it? You wee mishief-maker:) I can only say that I wish you had been successful! Children have to be rascals sometimes…..

      Take care,

      Lesley xxx

  • 3. Neill Morris  |  August 8, 2010 at 7:23 pm

    A good reason, I supported Wolverhampton Wanderers all through my school years, going to Molineaux many times just because Dad bought me a gold coloured shirt once. Drifted back to Leicester City now though as they are my local team, not that I can afford to go mind..

    • 4. when i was 8 i wanted to be....  |  August 8, 2010 at 9:05 pm

      Hi Neill,

      I know, football tickets are expensive now and if I want to see United I have to fly across. I do intend to go this year but for me it is a rare but cherished experience:)

      Take care,



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