1970 WORLD CUP GEORGE BEST
George Best never managed to get Northern Ireland to a World Cup, but they tried to qualify for the tournament in Mexico, with Best scoring a brilliant goal against Turkey on 13 October 1968.
Best did know how to have a great time outside of football, however. He once said: ‘I spent 90 per cent of my money on women, drink and fast cars. The rest I wasted.’ His Jaguar E-type S3 certainly was one of those fast cars, and it certainly wasn’t a waste!
The car shown here was the same car we saw Best getting into on television and roaring away from Manchester United’s ground after being sacked in 1974. He had left Old Trafford for the last time, as a player, after 361 games and 157 goals. Sadly he was one of the few greats who would never play in a World Cup, because Northern Ireland failed to qualify during his peak footballing prowess.
Best owned a few E-types in his lifetime, although he wouldn’t always drive the speedy Jaguar over long distances; he was known to get good friend Tony Griffin to drive them to Majorca for him.
Best also owned a variety of Jaguars other than E-types, one of which he crashed while drunk at the wheel. A six-month ban would see him chauffeured around in a Jaguar Mk2 during that time. After the S3 (pictured), he followed up E-type ownership with an XJ-S – by no means as charming but still a great car to drive and be seen in.
His non-Jaguar car CV is equally impressive. He first bought an Austin 1100 in 1963 when he was a ground staff boy at Manchester United. He later gave that car to his father when he upgraded to a Sunbeam Alpine. He was also to be seen in a Radford Mini Cooper S and a Lotus Europa.
LEFT Lucky old George also owned an E-type roadster S1.