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"Whatever the incentives nowadays, surely the biggest one must be for all players to leave this kind of indelible print on the supporters' consciousness. To either produce a moment of magic or conjure up a consistent level of brilliance that the public will always talk about in hushed, revered tones."

- Adam Marshall

11/09/2013 17:21, Report by Adam Marshall
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Best legend lives on

was some kind of joke that he was the greatest footballer, a mere play on words with his surname.

For all the wealth in the modern game and the adulation around the globe, I fast-forwarded to a future time when I might be telling my own grandchildren about the players I had been lucky enough to witness live. I had seen a 17-year-old Ryan Giggs leave me spellbound, Eric Cantona illuminate many a game, Cristiano Ronaldo win matches virtually on his own and Wayne Rooney score one of the best goals of all time in the Manchester derby.

These things flashed through my mind. I'd also seen Lionel Messi score three times too many for my liking in European Cup finals and, going back further, had been bowled over by Michel Platini's passing skills and a teenaged Diego Maradona gliding around Wembley in the first international I ever saw. All this probably does still not equate to being able to say that I saw Best play live.

Whatever the incentives nowadays, surely the biggest one must be for all players to leave this kind of indelible print on the supporters' consciousness. To either produce a moment of magic or conjure up a consistent level of brilliance that the public will always talk about in hushed, revered tones.

For me, having supporters pass on their affection and respect for your talents to another generation has to be the ultimate accolade. Most, if not all, of the action can be logged and kept forever these days but the best tales will always be the personal ones - the memories of watching those individuals from the stands.

As we celebrate 50 years this weekend since Best's debut against West Brom, it will present an ideal opportunity for many more stories of his greatness to be passed down to younger fans who were not fortunate enough to witness his genius first hand.

It ensures his legend will live on forever. 

More: George Best legend profile | Video - Best of Best | Best's first season

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