“Our plan was to be cautious, but somebody must have stuffed cotton wool in George’s ears,” Busby said. George Best got into the Manchester United dressing room at the age of seventeen – and into the Northern Ireland side simultaneously. Gradually, this teenager from Belfast started to hit the headlines, making a name for himself. Bob Bishop turned-up at George’s doorstep – and explained to Dickie Best and Anne Best about, Manchester United’s desire to acquire George Best. His intuitions and actions were straightforward. George was playing football down 16 Burrey Way with his friends – his parents called him home, explained to him the opportunity – agreeing, he ran back down the street, and with unmitigated astonishment he explained to his friends about it. Though, initially, circumstances were unpleasant for both the parties. George raced back to his home at 16 Burrey Way in Cregagh Estate, Belfast after a mere twenty-four hours at Old Trafford; the magnitude of the […]

The world over if someone were asked to name the ten greatest players to have ever played a beautiful game, the names would be Pele, Diego Maradona, Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldo (Brazilian), Franz Beckenbauer, Eusebio, Johan Cruyff, Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Michel Platini. These are the players who excelled at their trade and reached levels never seen or imagined before. But if you were to ask a Brazilian who is the greatest Brazilian player of all time don’t be surprised to hear the name Garrincha, a player who may not have been as technically gifted as Pele or Ronaldo but he had the gift of inventiveness, explosive pace, dribbling skills beyond anyone’s ability and a keen eye for goal. Sadly outside Brazil and academic discussions, Garrincha is mostly forgotten despite being a double FIFA World Cup Winner. Like many Brazilian footballers, Garrincha was born in poverty in Pau Grande in the city of Magé; southeast of Brazil and in the […]

‘TheHardTackle Relic’ is a semi-regular column which dusts off the pages of football history. It intends to walk you down memory lane and relive events, players and teams long forgotten. Today we revisit the inspiring journey of Sir Bobby Robson.  Revered in Newcastle and the North East, Sir Bobby Robson is a man who enjoys phenomenal popularity. He means so much to every generation of Englishmen: from his playing days with Fulham and West Bromwich Albion in the 1950s and 1960s, to his twenty England caps and his brilliant management career over the past 38 years, Bobby Robson has inspired generations of fans. In his early adult years he grew-up in North East, and his working life before football in the mines of Langley Park, where he went underground for a year and a half at the age of fifteen. Regarded as the most successful living English manager of all-time, he has been witnessed to some of the most historic sporting […]