The Best, Manchester United and Leicester City

George Best was and has been an icon in football. At his time at Manchester United he came up against Leicester City many times. While Manchester United won the league in 1965 and 1967, the European Cup in 1968, with Best at his best, Leicester City were also a proper side in those days.

The first game where George Best played Leicester City in the league was back in February 1964. Two goals from David Hodgson and one from Mike Stringfellow secured the win for Leicester City that day, Law and Herd scoring for Man Utd, ending in a 3-2 win to Leicester.

The last time George Best visited Leicester City was eight years later when he scored a goal in a 2-2 draw at Filbert Street in front of a crowd of more than 32,000. The other goals were scored by Wyn David (Man Utd) and Farington and Sammels netting for Leicester City.

A memorable game was the one in August 1972 when George Best and Frank Worthington scored the goals in a 1-1 draw. This was an away clash at Old Trafford with a crowd of more than 40,000 watching.

George Best was also on the field in that 2-0 April win with goals from Alan Birchenall and Keith Weller secured a special win at Filbert Street.

Going back and into the 60’s we will find a number of good results for Leicester City especially that game with two Mike Stringfellow goals settling a great day at Old Trafford winning 2-1.

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When Manchester United won the League in 1967, with George Best in the side and very much involved, Leicester City managed a draw both home and away. In that other League winning season, 1964-65, both games were lost, 1-0 away and absolutely hammered at home 5-0 with George Best scoring the opening goal.

The total stats of George Best v. Leicester City are to our notice 15 games, 5 goals scored, 6 wins, 5 draws and 4 defeats, below the stats,

  • 08.02.1964, 2-3, LC win
  • 29.08.1964, 2-2,
  • 12.04,1965, 1-0, MU win
  • 13.11,1965, 5-0, MU win, Best scoring the opening goal
  • 09.04.1966, 1-2, LC win
  • 30.11.1966, 2-1, MU win, Best scoring the second
  • 18.03.1967, 5-2, MU win,
  • 26.08.1967, 1-1,
  • 23.12.1967, 2-2,
  • 07.12.1968, 1-2, LC win
  • 17.05.1969, 3-2, MU win, Best scoring the third
  • 20.11.1971, 3-2, MU win
  • 08.04.1972, 0-2, LC win
  • 23.08.1972, 1-1, Best scoring
  • 04.11.1972, 2-2, Best scoring the second

A few former foxes did play in the same team as George Best and always a thrill to be playing with the greats. Derek Dougan had that pleasure to do so on international duty for Northern Ireland. Gordon Banks did so during his time in the NASL, turning out for Fort Lauderdale Strikers together.

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John Ridley, who had a short spell with Leicester City back in 1978-79, also had the pleasure of playing with George Best while at Fort Lauderdale Strikers. Billy Hughes were at San Jose Earthquakes in 1979, at a time when Best also played there. David Nish appeared in indoor football with San Jose also at the same time as Best.

George Best continued his journey in football and had short spells at Hibs, Bournemouth and Nuneaton Borough, a club who had a few former foxes on the books with both Willie Gibson and Paul Culpin turning out in the same games as George Best.

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