George Best and the age of modernity

Issue 1068

George Best and the age of modernity

In this week’s Big Issue…


On September 14 1963, George Best made his debut for Manchester United. They played West Brom at Old Trafford. A little while before, The Beatles had gone to number one with She Loves You. Best would become a global superstar, change football and footballers forever, and lead (ultimately) to where we are now with football and its place as an elemental piece in the cultural and societal fabric. Duncan Hamilton, author of a forthcoming new biography of Best, digs into this pivotal moment ushering in a new age.

It’s something of an anniversary edition, because 10 years after Best’s debut, almost to the day, Pinochet lead a bloody coup taking over in Chile. We detail the little known, but fascinating, story of resistance by workers in the Rolls Royce factory in East Kilbride who stood up to Pinochet causing massive problems for his air force.

And more…

Letter To My Younger Self comes from Women’s Hour matriarch Jenni Murray. There is much about her difficult relationship with her mother, about the birth of her sons and also about the moment she toughened up forever. She was 11.

John Bird has another fine, ruminative piece full of heart and memory. Underpinned with thoughts on his own emergence from reform school 50 years ago (there’s that anniversary motif again), he laces in Big Issue Japan, memories of The Big Issue set-up, of peppermint foot rub and the late Anita Roddick.

Rachel Johnson is writing with some brio this week. It’s about losing things and about an app to stop this happening. It’s funny and you’ll want to read it.

My Week this week features the legendary Harry Shearer. Sadly, his week doesn’t involve getting stuck in a giant plastic pod. That’s for the Spinal Tap fans out there…

We also interview Cillian Murphy, ahead of his new TV show. He considers the ongoing gallop of the Hollywood A–List towards the small screen.

There is much else, of course. Our featured vendor is Andre Rostant, who works in Covent Garden. A fascinating character, Andre has just completed his Masters at Brunel and is setting out on a Doctorate in cultural anthropology at the same university.

Author David Epstein has written a fascinating piece on how genes will prevent women from ever beating men at athletics; MacKenzie talks to the little Mermaid and there is a brilliant treatise on The Newsroom in the TV review. The Build Your Vendor A Shop competition is up and running. We’ve had some great returns already. Spread the word.