How do you even begin to whittle down George Best's phenomenal career to his top five performances? Well, it wasn't easy but we've given it a go here.
In reverse order...
(5) Northampton Town 2 Manchester United 8
FA Cup fifth round, 7 February 1970
Perhaps George’s most bravura display came immediately upon his return from a four-week suspension and a fine of £100 for kicking the ball from the referee’s hands at the end of a League Cup tie against Manchester City. Northampton’s tight, three-sided ground had never seen anything like it as Best mesmerised Town’s players and spectators alike and scored six goals. Angered at his treatment by the FA for what he regarded as nothing more than a moment of high spirits, George later recalled: “I took my anger out on Northampton… It was one of my most satisfying days for a long time. I scored one with my head, dribbled round the keeper for another and generally took the mickey."
The high point was a delicate chip over the keeper and George relished the sixth goal most of all: “It allowed me to poke fun at my mate Denis, who had scored six in a cup tie for Manchester City at Luton before the game was abandoned and the goals struck off!”
4) Manchester United 2 Chelsea 1
League Cup third round, 28 October 1970
“I remember it well,” sighed Chelsea’s famous hard man Ron Harris, “because I’ve seen it so often. We got beat 2-1 on a Wednesday night and that run by Georgie was part of an opening sequence on Grandstand for some time after. Every Saturday lunchtime I would see myself coming at him from the right of the screen, and every time I thought I was going to get him but I never did…”
Best’s decisive goal that night was indeed to provide one of the most replayed moments of football in the 1970s. The game had been an open one on a heavy pitch, and as the players began to tire the action went from one end to the other without respite.