What The Papers Said

"Manchester's rain extinguished the candles lit in the shrine to George Best on Sir Matt Busby Way, soaking all the scarves and shirts left in tribute, even staining cards with their inky scribbles, but it couldn't wash away the memories of those gathered in the cathedral of Old Trafford last night. As the rain finally ceased, as the tears rolled down the faces of fans and former players, as a haunting hush fell across the arena Best once filled with cheers, one club stood united in their grief for a legend."
Henry Winter, Daily Telegraph

06/02/2010 09:00, Report by Steve Bartram
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OT100 #87: The Best

United's bid to reach the Carling Cup quarter-finals, Sir Alex Ferguson chose a strong side to face the Baggies, managed by Bryan Robson, another who sported the Reds' number 7 shirt with distinction. The two managers emerged from the tunnel holding wreaths ahead of kick-off, while around them blared 'Belfast Boy' and supporters held aloft poster tributes. Some of Best's former team-mates, led by Sir Bobby Charlton, lined the field alongside Calum, George's son. They, like everyone else inside Old Trafford, fell silent for a minute of soul-piercing silence. Even the wind dared not whisper as all present indulged in their own memories of a man who had been a friend to some, a hero to many and a legend to all. The match, a mere footnote to the evening, provided a routine 3-1 victory for United. The hosts switched on the style to roar two goals clear through a Cristiano Ronaldo penalty and a low Louis Saha shot, while John O'Shea's strike ended any semblance of a contest after the break, despite Nathan Ellington's late consolation strike.

The Aftermath: "It was a fantastic night," admitted Sir Alex Ferguson. "The club came up with the most fitting tribute they could have done. They organised it in a very special way. I was really mindful of the emotion and the need to win - that is why I played such a

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