A dark blue Northern Ireland International Cap, v. England, Scotland and Wales, 1969-70
George Best is, arguably, the greatest-ever Manchester United player. If not the greatest, then certainly the most famous and in season 1969-70 we saw the good and badside of George Best. The good being, his 6 goals in a crushing 8-2 defeat of Northampton Town in the F.A.Cup 5th round on 7th February; the bad being his sending off for Northern Ireland in the match against Scotland in Belfast on 18th April for throwing mud and allegedly spitting at the referee Eric Jennings. He was later cleared by the International Committee who 'could not entirely accept the referee's report' and their report took the view that he spat at the ground and 'not at the official'. 1969-70 was a bad season for Best and his Northern Ireland team; in the match against Scotland at Belfast on 18th April when he was sent-off, Northern Ireland lost 1-0. In the match against England at Wembley on 21st April 1970, England defeated Northern Ireland 3-1, with Best scoring the only goal for Northern Ireland. In the last Home Championship match against Wales, played at Swansea on 25th April 1970, Wales defeated Northern Ireland 1-0. Finally, on 11th November 1970 in a match played at Seville, Spain defeated Northern Ireland 3-0. George Best played twelve seasons for Northern Ireland, making a total of 37 appearances for them, scoring nine goals. However, it may be assumed that, as was the case in the 1960s and 70s that Best was presented with International caps for Home International Championship matches only. If this assumption is correct then Best was presented with only eight International caps in total, the example above being one of these. An International cap awarded to Best for the match against Scotland season 1967-68 was sold, Sotheby's London 9th July 1998, Lot 97 for 3,000.