Yesterday marked ten years since the passing of George Best, speaking exclusively to Retro United former teammate Jimmy Rimmer shares his memories of playing alongside the United legend.
The two friends were both part of the side that won the FA Youth Cup in 1964 before going on to play for the first team and Jimmy is honoured to say he played alongside the Irishman: “I played with George in the youth team and I think he was just a genius. As a person he was very quiet but a lovely man. I still talk about him now and it’s a privilege to say that I played with him, even though I played hundreds of games and won everything I still always say that.
“We won the FA Youth Cup together in 1964, he didn’t play every game because he was involved with the first team but when he played he scored goals, beating men about five times before he put it in the back of net.
“I remember we played in a practice match at The Cliff against Oldham and I think he scored nine goals, you give up counting after five but I think we won 10-0. He was a genius and he had everything.”
Asked whether as a goalkeeper he was ever embarrassed in training by George, Jimmy laughs: “Plenty of times, he’d go to side-foot it and I’d dive then he’d pull it back and chip it over my body. That’s how football is, he’d try and send you the wrong way or he’d chip me if he saw me off my line and goalkeepers don’t like being chipped.”
George and Jimmy departed Old Trafford at a similar time in 1974 but while Rimmer went on to win the European Cup with Aston Villa in 1982 Best never reached the same heights again. Living out a rather nomadic career with clubs all over the world as his personal problems took their toll.