Royal Mint Scrapped Plan to Commemorate George Best on Coin

Started by Bimat, May 27, 2018, 08:03:56 AM

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Why football legend George Best's off-field antics scuppered plans to celebrate his life with Royal Mint commemorative coin

By Simon Murphy for The Mail on Sunday

PUBLISHED: 01:57 BST, 27 May 2018 | UPDATED: 02:00 BST, 27 May 2018

George Best's colourful off-field antics scuppered plans to celebrate his sporting life with a Royal Mint commemorative coin, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.

The former Manchester United star was a notorious womaniser who had a long-running battle with alcohol addiction before his death aged 59 in 2005.

So when a Royal Mint sub-committee met in 2014 to consider a set of 'Sporting Heroes' coins, it decided Best was 'not suitable' because of his 'reputation' outside football.

The decision, revealed in official documents obtained by this newspaper, was made despite Belfast City Airport seeing fit to rename itself after the Northern Irishman in 2006.

Last night, Best's son Calum said he should be honoured, adding: 'Yes, he battled his problems off the pitch, but he was idolised, talented, and did his country proud.'

A Royal Mint spokesman said suggested themes for coins went through a 'rigorous' selection process.

Source: Daily Mail
It is our choices...that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities. -J. K. Rowling.


To begin with, I fail to see how a sportsman can be a hero or how a very well-paid sportsman can do his country proud by doing the job he's paid to do, but that may well be old age crabbiness. I know less than nothing about soccer, but I do remember my father bickering about Best (and Stiles) being unsportsmanlike and out to wound players of the opposing team, but that may be his chauvinism. After the hooligan pictures Gusev posted today and knowing that worse happens routinely, I wonder if it is appropriate to consider soccer a sport, rather than a weekly excuse for binge alcoholism, mayhem and destruction.

An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.


The entire 'Sports heroes' series was never issued so plans to issue other such coins were eventually scrapped too. The series was going to consist of non-circulating collectors coins which would have been issued in 2016.


George Best continued to drink after his liver transplant.  As the transplant was necessitated by alcohol abuse, you have to wonder why he was regarded as a hero.  Absolutely the right decision not to commemorate him on a coin, in my opinion.