Back in 1983, I was a waitress in a casino in Bristol. We would often see local footballers in the casino, mainly as it was somewhere where they could get a drink without being hassled by fans - Bristol City may not be a big team on the national scale, but locally they are heroes! (Having said that, I was brought up on the "other" side of town so was a Bristol Rovers fan!!) One Bristol City player, Chris Garland, had been quite a gifted footballer, starting with City, but moving to Chelsea and Leicester during the course of his career, before returning to his hometown to end his playing days.
When it came time for Chris Garland's testimonial season, the casino arranged for several events to raise money for his retirement.
At one of these events, held at the casino, there were several guests with whom Chris had played during his career, as well as some he'd played against. These included Peter Osgood, Frank Worthington and one GEORGE BEST!!
Apart from having to cope with all the girls being rather distracted by his presence, George was a total gentleman!
My own little story relates to an episode early in the event. My Boss, the General Manager of the casino was stood at the end of the bar chatting to George when he (the Boss), asked me to bring him a cup of tea. I went off to get the tea, and assuming it was for the Boss, I put in his usual three sugars. Imagine my horror when, as I put the tea down in front of the Boss, he pushed the cup and saucer along the bar to George! "Oh", I squealed, "I didn't realise it was for you! Do you take sugar?" "No" came the reply. With which I snatched the tea away from George and ran away to make him another! I'm sure my face was probably a picture - and very, very RED!! When I returned to George with a sugarless cup of tea, I apologised profusely - oh how embarrassing!! However, my mistake was to prompt George to say something I will never, ever forget! In that unmistakable Belfast brogue, he purred, "Ah Julia, you're an angel!" Can you imagine? George Best had called me an angel and all I'd done was make him a cup of tea!!