Marsh had also already had a considerable stay at Fulham in the 1960s after breaking through in style to the senior side in our First Division days. How could be have walked if he had broken a leg? But the stories of his positive endeavours far outweighed the negative. Even their teammates looked on in awe, they had never seen the like of it either. I have a Puma ball signed by George, Rodney and Stanley Matthews that I won at auction in 1998. I agree, the greatest player the world has ever seen. They seemed to trigger quite a positive response and sparked some interesting chat as well as some happy memories. Soon afterwards dropped to our level and couldn't hit the barn door from point blank range. In ordinary circumstances, it would have been considered a pretty mundane match between a couple of average sides. He initially linked superbly with Rodney Marsh but things did not run as smoothly after a sending-off at Southampton and he eventually moved on. Your email address will not be published. Having surmounted legal wranglings over his transfer from Los Angeles Aztecs, Best scored 71 seconds into his debut for the Club. There was never a dull moment when he was around. We still have wonderful players in today’s world, but they are stone faced and so focused that it’s difficult to get a sense of their personality. Notify me of follow-up comments by email. He died on 25th November 2005, aged 59, after suffering multiple organ failure. I mention how football was broadcast back then to highlight the effect that Best and Marsh had on the English game that season. 1977. Fulham team: Peter Mellor; John Cutbush, Ernie Howe, Bobby Moore, Les Strong: George Best, Alan Slough, John Evanson, Les Barrett: Viv Busby, Rodney Marsh. After watching him train for two weeks with the club, The Times’ Norman Fox wrote: “I was impressed by his athletic appearance and his convincing interest in ‘coming back’, as he felt able to cope with the pressures of life as the centre of permanent publicity.”, The man himself underlined he was focused solely on football, and not the temptations littered on its periphery. I used to watch Sky’s Soccer Saturday programme religiously just to hear the banter between them, and their insight of the game. Logged Mince n Tatties. A fair few of them were still queuing to get through the overworked turnstiles when Best marked the occasion in style with the games only goal after just 71 seconds. George Best. Legend of Fulham FC. While they both had lost the pace of their prime, they still possessed the ability and the football brains to leave their opponents bewildered and demoralised. Find out more about our. I have never looked at another player and felt inferior.” – George Best. Author Topic: George Best at Fulham (Read 2875 times) Stefano Okaka Chuka. He was a striker who could dribble a ball with ease, possessed great technical ability, and had that rare talent of making something from nothing with moments of absolute genius. Attendances moved from under 5,000 spectators to capacity every game, and, as I mentioned earlier, they even made it to our TV screens. George Best was still putting in a regular shift though and was held in such high regard that Chelsea had to kick him black and blue in the Boxing Day derby. George Georgiou think against Orient early 90's. In my opinion George Best still is the greatest player of all time. However, I’m sure he would not have any problem accepting that while he was a great player, he never reached the same levels as Best. In the second half the pair stood over a free-kick. Testing Times For Dortmund And Schalke At Opposite Ends Of The Bundesliga, Solskjaer’s Legacy On The Line At Man United As Premier League Slump Continues, Small Bets Pay Off As Wolves Climb The Premier League Table. But although it was easy to place your finger on his physical changes, something deeper had altered in the boy from Cregagh. Best won, back-heeling an effort into the bottom corner after a two-step backwards shuffle. Vic Buckingham made a serious mistake in letting Marsh leave far too soon and he went on to make his mark at QPR and latterly Manchester City. Best Irishman to play for FULHAM. Match of the Day ran for 45/60 minutes with highlights in the true sense of the word. RIP George, the Best player I’ve seen in a Fulham shirt- no pun intended. By the time we played the reverse fixture on Good Friday, we were in a parlous position while they were on their way to promotion. @_mattwiggins spoke to the guys from @Baggies_Facts to get a WBA perspective ahead of today’s crucial match at the Cottage... COLLINS JOHN’S VIEW We also had On the Ball on Sundays, which was like a showcase for London clubs in the old First Division. The most famous of the games they played together was the legendary match against Hereford where they won 4-1 with Best and Marsh stealing the show as only entertainers of their calibre could. H2H STATS In fact, it’s fair to say he was the first footballer to transcend his sport and become a celebrity in his own right. “Bob would put down jumpers for ­goalposts, order Perry Digweed, another apprentice, in goal and send George out to dribble round a few willing kids and score a few, while dodging women pushing prams!”. #FFC | #FULWBA, MATCH PREVIEW Best’s trademark grin and guile had begun to resurface and what seemed so enigmatically different upon his return had become promptly apparent: George Best was enjoying playing football again. Jordan Henderson - Sunderland, FA Youth Cup, March, Filippo "Pippo" Inzaghi @ucalbinoleffe , 1992, Palermo and Maradona #Boca 1997 #bocajuniors, Alex Teixeira – Shakhtar’s Latest Brazilian Graduate, How Chile’s Triumphant Evolution Influenced World Football, North American Soccer Show - Nashville SC, European Football Show - How Portugal Conquered Europe, South American Football Show - LIbertadores Matchday 6 review and Last 16 Preview, North American Soccer Show - All About Inter Miami, European Football Show - Ferencvaros in the Champions League & Hungarian Football Today. Joins Fulham, making 42 appearances with eight goals. They were genuine box office. The result was two guys playing exhibition football with a smile on their faces. They had strong opinions, but they were very difficult to argue with given their calibre as players. By continuing to browse you are agreeing to our use of cookies. By this time he had already scored 178 goals in 466 club games, gained two league championship medals and helped the Red Devils win the European Cup. He also had a rare playing talent. Jimmy Hill; Posts: 2107; Re: Best Irishman to play for FULHAM. Although many were sceptical about Best’s UK return, some observers noted an upturn in attitude upon his arrival. Great article! Fulham ran out 4-1 winners with Alan Slough and John Evanson opening the scoring. He left United in 1974, after 474 games and 181 goals for the Red Devils. George Best former footballer from Northern Ireland Left Winger * May 22, 1946 in Belfast, Northern Ireland Few could argue that Best turned his back on top-level football when he played his last game for Manchester United in 1974 at the age of 27. The next home game against Wolves drew a crowd of 25,794, nearly three times the 9,437 that had turned up to watch the opening game of the campaign against Nottingham forest just three weeks earlier. It was carefree, flair football at its finest. In training he was no less jocular. But during the lockdown when games weren’t possible there was a tangible yearning for Fulham nostalgia…, As one of the older hands on the Focus Team, I’m a keen fan of the club’s history – after all, I’ve been around for quite a proportion of it! At the start of the 1976/77 season Fulham Football Club, then in the old second division, pulled off a coup. One of his last wishes was for people to “remember me for my football”. Teams were geared to attack, to create, to score. People may question Marsh’s consistency, but I have never heard anyone question his undoubted talent as a footballer. They seemed to trigger quite a positive response and sparked some interesting chat as well as some happy memories. He also had a European Cup winners medal to add to his two league winners medals. He was a genius on the ball but was no prima donna working equally hard for the team off it. The last entertainer, in real true sense of the word, was Paul Gascoigne in my opinion. George’s antics of the 60’s and 70’s would make today’s Mario Balotelli look like a model pro. The transfer to Boro never materialised and, unsurprisingly, it was Best’s last appearance against Sunderland – 15 games for Manchester United and a single game for Fulham … Re: What’s the best debut for Fulham you’ve seen? #FFC | #FULWBA © 2020 World Football Index. By the time we played the reverse fixture on Good Friday, we were in a parlous position while they were on their way to promotion. “He cannot kick with his left foot, he cannot head a ball, he cannot tackle and he doesn’t score many goals. Both had quite strong opinions on the players of that time and the direction the game was moving in as demonstrated in a newspaper interview in 2005. The honeymoon was to end a week later at Southampton when their rough house tactics went unchecked and Bestie was sent off for his choice words to the referee Lester Shapter, who was no doubt happier to get his name in the paper than to do his job properly. W hen George Best played for Second Division Fulham during a short spell in the mid 1970s, he undoubtedly cut a conflicting figure to the slight, jinking winger English fans had known during his enthralling 13 years at Manchester United. But during. Best and Marsh both went back to the USA to ply their trade, but the memories of that time are something worth cherishing. Marsh scored goals no matter where he went and on his day he, like Best, was unplayable. International House, 12 Constance Street, London E16 2DQ, "Sometimes the losers have taught more than the winners.". Fulham even scored Hereford’s consolation by way of an own goal from Ernie Howe. George Best - Brisbane Lions, AFC Bournemouth, San Jose Earthquakes, Hibernian FC, Fort Lauderdale Strikers (old), Los Angeles Aztecs, Fulham FC, Los Angeles Galaxy, Cork Celtic, Stockport County, Manchester United Great goalkeeper — and all teams had great, British goalkeepers then — big centrehalves, another player alongside him to kick the s*** out of you, decent full backs, wingers, a playmaker. Competition For A Starting Place Can Drive Man United On After Victory vs Leipzig, Real Madrid Need A Champions League Performance Against Inter After Scraping A Point vs Gladbach, Correa Strike Earns A Point For Depleted Lazio vs Brugge. It was a pivotal result in our season as we ultimately beat the drop by just one point. Many critics would say his career took a downward turn after departing Manchester United, but his time at Fulham was the closest he came to recapturing the form that made him famous. From the first moment, he touched the ball, all through half time to the end of the game all I overheard was what on earth was West Ham thinking to let this guy go on a [pre-bosman ruling] free transfer. “I think it’ll be a tight and edgy encounter. Fans of the clubs he played for in his career still hold him with fond memory and high regard. It’s terribly sad, where’s that type of lovely passing player now?”, Rodney Marsh: “They’ve been killed off by athletes. Andrew (?) A crowd of 21,127 turned up to see the Irish genius (some 12,000 more than the previous home League game). For me there are two that stand out 1 was Teddy Maybank and the other was Ray Houghton. Best motioned to place the ball before flicking it up for Marsh to volley and loop wide. Fulham FC News 24/7 . He wouldn’t have become a superstar in our era. Best played for Fulham 32 times in his first season. His performance in the 3-1 win over Chelsea – six weeks after his crash – helped the Cottagers to avoid relegation by just a point in front Fulham’s largest crowd of the season. In 280 games for the Club, Graham Leggat scored no less than 134 times – which included a staggering eight hat-tricks. I was lucky enough to see all the games that Best and Marsh played.