Rod Stewart opens up on friendship with ‘foolish’ George Best: ‘He had problems’

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Sir Rod Stewart, 75 was speaking with How To Wow podcast presenter Chris Evans when he disclosed that his late friend George Best struggled with problems that prevented him enjoying a “much longer career” in football. The Maggie May hitmaker shared that if the former Manchester United player had played for the team under the leadership of notoriously strict manager Sir Alex Ferguson, he might have been “straightened out”.

He could have had a longer career

Rod Stewart

Rod, who is a football fanatic and long time supporter of Celtic FC, was asked by Chris who he believed was the best footballer to ever walk out on a pitch.

The How To Wow host said: “Greatest footballer you have ever seen play?”

Not missing a beat, Rod responded: “I gotta go for my old mate George Best.”

Chris added: “It’s got to be, hasn’t it?”

The rockstar explained: “Well he was foolish, there’s no doubt about it, he could have had a much longer career and he had huge problems with alcohol. 

“I think if (Sir Alex) Ferguson had been manager of Manchester United then, he would have straightened him out, but a lovely lovely man. 

“I’ve got loads of pictures of us playing football together because he was playing out in Los Angeles when I was still playing for my team. He would invite me down to training.

“I’ve got some great pictures of us, and going drinking,” he added.

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While the Virgin Radio host also had fond memories of hanging out with the Northern Irish footballer.

Chris recalled “It’s funny I used to play pool with him in the pub in Walton Street. The Phene, The Phene Arms.”

George sadly died aged 59 in 2005 following a battle with alcoholism for many years.

It was reported that he had died from an overdose of immune-suppressant drugs

 Dr Jason Payne-James said at the time that the footballer’s immune system was “virtually switched off” by the time he died from a kidney infection.

The doctor told The Sunday Express: “George had told his doctors that in the months leading up to his admission he had been drinking heavily. 

“The alcohol had clouded his judgment and he had overdosed on his immuno-suppressant medication.

“Because he was drinking so heavily, he wasn’t eating or sleeping properly. The combination of these factors have a devastating effect on George’s immune system,” he added. 

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