Anyone browsing through the Sunday papers the other week would have noticed in one tabloid a large photograph, candidly snapped, no doubt with a lens like a drainpipe, and captioned ‘the picture we’ve all been waiting for’. The picture showed a wistful George Best, garbed in prison overalls, serving his time. It certainly wasn’t my cup of Typhoo (was it really anyone’s?): but it set me pondering about how we treat our heroes. Best’s own case has been well documented, and he is possibly the saddest case of a sporting megastar who has come a cropper through his own and other people’s excesses. Now, instead of remembering the genius, we are reduced to inserting the boot when the man is clearly out for the count.
The full text of this essay is only available to subscribers of the London Review of Books.