George Best…On A Stamp?

No I am still not ready to return to full-time Blogging. The funny thing about Blogging is that it started several years ago as a diversion…and while I am absolutely thrilled that it reached dizzy heights in 2013, “Keeping An Eye On The Czar Of Russia” became a full-time job…and lost a certain amount of FUN.
Getting the “hits” meant that I had to step up my game a bit and that needed a certain amount of support which I did not get.
As I am a NERD who pre-dates the nerdiness of Tintenet, I have turned my attention to other nerdy activities.
For example, did you miss the issue of this set of stamps (see photograph of Presentation Pack) …by the British Post Office in May this year.

A cute idea. Eleven “British” (sic) Footballers arranged in such a way that it resembles a traditional team photograph. The miniature sheet actually shows this better.
But…I am a bit of a traditionalist. Being on a stamp is a great honour and I tend to think that to qualify, you must be…dead.
But so far as I am aware only three of these Footballers are deceased….John Charles (Wales), Bobby Moore (England) and George Best (from Our Wee Country, Norn Iron).
The rest are all hail and hearty. Now I should point out I do not collect British stamps but I do collect stamps of Irish interest and clearly George Best qualifies.
But here’s the thing. A set of British (sic) stamps had to include a Welsh player….and pre-Gareth Bale, that would be John Charles or Ian Rush…and the decision went with The Gentle Giant.
And of course at least one Scot had to be included…Dennis Law but surely Kenny Dalglish outranks Dave Mackay (I remember him well and he was brilliant).
And for Norn Iron….well clearly George Best. The only serious rival would be Pat Jennings. But here’s the thing. Does George Best, a tax dodger who beat up lovers and served time in prison for assault deserve the great honour. Does his behaviour…boorish and violent…only in part explained by his alcoholism…disqualify him?
Of course George Best is actually dead but last year, Britain issued a stamp for every gold medal winning Olympian an earlier this year for success at Wimbledon. Other living people recently featured on stamps include actors, David Tennant and Michael Gambon.
With over fifty Olympians and Paralympians honoured….can this be a hostage to Fortune. A tabloid headline waiting to happen.
Interestingly Paul Gasgoigne, as troubled as George Best, might have had a legitimate claim to be on a stamp.
Yet I have to ask is George Best the only person with a criminal conviction and prison sentence for assault to appear alongside Mrs Elizabeth Windsor on one of her stamps.
Yet clearly it would be an insult to Our Wee Country and the eejits at Twaddell Avenue if George had been disqualified and Pat Jennings or Martin O’Neill (er Catholics) made it onto the team sheet.

I am actually noting two different things here. That a convicted criminal (assault) appears on a stamp because it would have been politically unacceptable to Norn Iron unionists if he was omitted….AND that issuing stamps of living people is a hostage to fortune.
Of course Ireland has issued lots of stamps of people with criminal convictions (in a manner of speaking) Pearse, Connolly, Tone, Emmet, McCracken, Davitt, Parnell, Russell, Barry, Ashe, Markievicz….Indeed having a criminal conviction (of sorts) is almost compulsory to get on an Irish stamp.

And living people do appear on Irish stamps…Roy Keane, Paul McGrath (footballers), Paul O’Connell (rugby), Cillian Murphy (actor) among them.

If you think I am overstating it….just think how embarrassing it might be if Jimmy Savile and Stuart Hall had been on a British stamp.

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1 Response to George Best…On A Stamp?

  1. Political Tourist says:

    Hmm, that’s picture looks like a groups of English players with a couple of “Anglos” thrown in.
    The “Anglos” left about 50/60 years ago and never came back other than to pass through.
    Most Scots cringed when Dennis Law used to speak.
    Funny none of the first players from these islands to win the European Cup are on there.

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