In the 1970’s when you were a footballer after you stopped playing there were a couple of options open to you…

Years before there was a third one – that of running a pub – but this was in the day when the footballer player wasn’t the rock n’ roll star that they became in the 70’s. These players were in the limelight and nearly all of them wanted to stay there.

There was an option of taking up management, which meant after spending much of your twilight years sitting on the bench you ended back there yet again. But this time it was in a suit and this time you controlled who gathered the splinters. Upside to this was that you are once again in the public eye. Everybody was looking at you again. Downside obviously is getting your team to win matches.

Some liked this pressure. All of them loved still being in the game. But for some others.. well they could talk a good game…

Best and Marsh

…As well as play it of course, but when they came to that fork in the road they decided to head towards the bright studio lights instead of the flooded ones.

Side note: Rodney Marsh did some coaching of a few American teams, but never took up the reigns this side of the pond. George Best went the same way as Lineker and Hanson did years later – straight to the comfy sofa.

One of Best’s most notable televisual appearances was with his old mate Rodney Marsh on a Granada TV programme presented by Tony Wilson (some time TV presenter, some time record company mogul, full time big mouth). The show was called “Best and Marsh – The Perfect Match” and featured Wilson taking to Georgie who reminisced (on that sofa) about their time playing football in the 1970’s.

Now usually You Tube is the place to find clips for these sort of things, but sadly this time it has let us down. » There is a TVS (Television South) version of the same format, this time with Mick Channon and Alan Ball, done a couple of years later which you can watch here. It was called… teeth grindingly… “The Channon and Ball Show”.

(For those who don’t get that – there was a comedy double act who were big around that time called Cannon and Ball, so as you can see… the title was a terrible pun on their name.)

As for clips of Wilson with Best & Marsh there’s only this tiny snippet which has Tony Wilson signing off from the show and introducing some clips of Marsh in action:

UPDATE: I love YouTube. There’s a full 25 minutes of the two of them talking to Tony:

Another update: That one has gone. Here is another clip:

– Additionally I just found this site: Classic Football DVD’s which has a description of the programme:

Best and Marsh title screen22nd Jan 1988 - 18th March 1988 Tony Wilson hosted this eight part series, prompting George Best and Rodney Marsh to reminisce on two 1970’s matches plucked from the archives in each half-hour programme. Although this was a non-networked Granada production, the footage was not exclusively concerned with North West clubs and some other region’s screened it the following year.

The shows were themed as follows: Show 1. George & Rod, 2. Goalkeepers, 3. Great Teams: Derby & Leeds, 4. The Liverpool Years, 5. Local Derby’s, 6. Goalscorers, 7. British Clubs in Europe, 8. The FA Cup.

As it says it was originally just shown in Granadaland (the North West) but eventually and because of the subjects it was seen elsewhere around the country and as mentioned above the format was replicated by TVS with Alan Ball & Mick Channon.

In fact the viewership of the Best and Marsh programme got so high that there was a demand for more. So in the early 90’s the two of them went on the road and did some live shows.

Title music:

The programme needed some music, so who was the producer – and presenter of the show – going to find for this…? Hmm…
It just so happened that he knew of this struggling indie band who owed him a favour…

» New Order – Best and Marsh

» Best and Marsh (Perkowitz Remix)

The track was a B side on…
» New Order – Round And Round (12″ Mix)

Additionally I found the following clip from Best and Marsh which show the band in the process and talking about the of recording this tune. It was this track which led them to do the Englandneworder song

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