So How Much Did George Best ACTUALLY Drink Then?

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Anonymous

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#1
Apologies if there are other george best threads but I'm just curious about how much Best has been drinking for the last 30 years.

I mean I drink 4 pints of 4% lager every night, maybe 6 at weekends. I know that is more than the recomended daily amount of 1ml, but I'm sure there are people that drink a lot more than me and my consumption is not that unusual.

So 2 questions:

What did George Best drink daily during his 40s and 50s?

What are everybody elses habits?
 

Quake42

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#2
I mean I drink 4 pints of 4% lager every night, maybe 6 at weekends. I know that is more than the recomended daily amount of 1ml, but I'm sure there are people that drink a lot more than me and my consumption is not that unusual.

So 2 questions:

What did George Best drink daily during his 40s and 50s?

What are everybody elses habits?
I've often wondered this. I don't drink every day but I do 3 or 4 nights a week and it wouldn't be unusual for me to drink 2, 3 or occasionally 4 pints of lager or perhaps the best part of a bottle of wine, admittedly probably with food. At a party or similar I might drink significantly more.

As you say, this is way above the government suggested limits which, ludicrously, define a session consisting of 2 pints of lager to be "binge driking".

A lot of people I know drink a great deal more than this, have done so for decades and are now fit and healthy 60+ year olds.

Obviously everyone's tolerance is different and some people may just have stronger livers/hearts and/or have generally healthier lifestyles which enable them to shake off any effects the booze is having.

But like you I do wonder quite how much someone like Best must have been drinking to destroy his health in the way he did.

A friend of mine used to work in pretty grotty pub in South London that was frequented solely by quasi-alcoholic "regulars". These regulars could drink - literally - 15 to 20 pints in a session and walk away afterwards, apparently unaffected. One of them reckoned he probably drank a litre or even two of spirits each day.

Now none of these people was in especially great health, but they had drunk in this fashion for decades and they certainly weren't in the same state as poor old Bestie.
 
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#3
There are probably other factors involved, for example poor nutrition, due to forgetting or not wanting to eat... that in itself can create havoc on the body, and perhaps exacerbate any damage.

I have an alcoholic friend that pointedly refuses to eat. I managed to get him to understand the possible medical implications, and thankfully he now takes a B vitamin supplement. I'd much rather he ate a square meal though.
 

Yithian

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#4
It's the constant processing of alcohol that probably wears your body down. You have to absolutely hammer a human liver to stop it regenerating and getting back up again. You can cut 40-odd-percent of the damned organ out and it'll still grow back!

Beer isn't nearly as damaging as a constant intake of spirits, of course.
 

Quake42

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#5
Beer isn't nearly as damaging as constant intake of spirits.
I do wonder if this is the crux of the matter. The people I have known who have suffered alcohol-related health problems have all drunk spirits, as opposed to beer and wine.

Never touch spirits myself, except for the occasional margarita, which I find has the freakiest effects... being drunk on tequila is truly like being on a particular unpleasant halluginogenic drug.
 

TheQuixote

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#6
I recalled the reports about how Best defied medical advice and carried on drinking while on that heavy-duty medication that should have physically stopped him drinking (the article below states it was an implant in his stomach).

It seems like the reason he is in the condition he is now is due to the fact that liver transplants do not have the same tolerance threshold against alcohol and are therefore more susceptible to damage such as George inflicted on it.

Liver transplants are a last resort for many alcoholics who have developed alcohol-related diseases such as cirrhosis.

Shortly after his transplant operation, Best was fitted with an implant designed to make it painful to drink alcohol. The implant, which is typically placed under the fat around the stomach, releases a drug into the blood stream that prevents the body breaking down alcohol properly.

Drinking with the implant in place leads to a rise in toxins in the blood known as aldehydes that can lead to violent convulsions, palpitations and changes in blood pressure.

"The problem with the implants is that they only last up to six months, so unless the patient has a replacement, the effect wears off eventually," said Kris Zakrzewski, a private consultant at Kent and Sussex clinical services who has fitted the implants in hundreds of patients. "There's also the danger that patients fail to get psychological support for their addiction and rely too much on the implant to stop them drinking. They need support too."

All patients who have organ transplants have a high chance of getting infections because they need to take immunosuppressant drugs that dampen their whole immune system to stop their bodies rejecting the new organ. But the danger faced by alcoholics who have received new livers is that alcohol suppresses the immune system even further, making them even more susceptible to infections.

"As a rule, they will face more infections and if they keep on drinking they will die of liver disease because transplants have a lower threshold to damage," said Prof Heaton.
Guardian.

As an aside, you can get cirrhosis of the liver through a number of things. I have two family members who got the condition through prescribed medications. In my aunt's case she's a strict tee-totaller having taken *The Pledge* when she was younger.

Without exception, every specialist that she has seen with regards to her cirrhosis, has either read her the riot act about drinking alcohol and in one case refuse to treat her because *it was self-inflicted* without checking the facts first.
 
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#7
I suppose its not the boozong earlier in his life what I really object to is the boozing he did afterwards. Someone told me his son held a champagne breakfast for him to celebrate him getting a new liver and he owned up to drinking too much on the Frank Skinner show.

I just wonder what someone else awaiting a liver transplant must have felt watching that.

--------
I'm also reminded of Larry Hagman's liver:

In 1996, Hagman underwent a lifesaving liver transplant after admitting he had been a heavy drinker. He was also a heavy smoker as a young man, but a terrifying cancer scare was the catalyst for cessation. Hagman was so shaken by this incident that he immediately became strongly against smoking. He has recorded several public service announcements pleading with smokers to quit and urging non-smokers never to start. Hagman was the chairman of the American Cancer Society's annual Great American Smokeout for many years, and also worked on behalf of the National Kidney Foundation.

These health struggles have actually been turned into a running joke on Jim Rome's radio show, where e-mailers routinely send e-mails signed by "Larry Hagman's liver", usually in reference to things that have failed.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Larry_Hagman
 
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Anonymous

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#8
Didn't he appear drunk on Wogan (chat show) in 1990?

There was also that tramp who won the lottery (2m i think), he died of over-drinking, he binged 2 bottles of whisky every day.
 
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Anonymous

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#9
Mighty_Emperor said:
I suppose its not the boozong earlier in his life what I really object to is the boozing he did afterwards.
That's my take on it too. It's hard for me to have sympathy for him.
 
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#12
Chris_H_Baker said:
Blimey people really couldn't wait to cash in (and pos. making stuff up - 10!!!) but I suspect that been hapening his whole life. There is an interesting article in the Grauniad:

"This is really all there is," Best's agent Phil Hughes told me around the time of the Bonhams auction. "All the rest has been stolen or burgled or given away or just walked. Everything. Contracts, clothes, European Cup winner's medal, the lot. Bled dry. Picked to the bone. After this, there is no more."
www.guardian.co.uk/g2/story/0,,1650397,00.html

And one wonders how much the tabloids encouraged all this - thata rticle suggests they stage managed an awful lot of his life for photo opportunities:

In the last years most of his trips to exotic parts were as the "guest" of one of the red-top papers, which became the vehicle for the bathos-laden real-life soap that in the trade earned itself the nickname "BestEnders". "For our second wedding anniversary the Daily Star offered to take us to the beautiful island of Mauritius ... The Daily Mail asked to do a story about George's rapid recovery and I'd always fancied Mustique ... In June we headed off to Corfu ..." Between the accounts of how she had been given black eyes and broken arms and had her hair hacked off in the night by her drunken husband, Alex Best's book, Always Alex, is a litany of tabloid-funded trips to faraway places with George. A beating and a payday. Another love rat scandal, another BestEnders episode sold to the pops. This was the very modern transactional mess that their nine-year-long marriage quickly turned into.
I'd imagine they were also happy to cover the bar tab too :(

He probably never stood a chance - then again people who knew him said he never blamed anyone but himself.
 

Yithian

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#14
I don't believe anything in The Sun, on principle.
In this instance you are correct in your doubt. Ten bottles of wine a day--with the suggestion that it's every day? Absurd claim, surely.

We're into the 'how many calories did Elvis consume?' territory.

The stuff of myth and legend.
 

stu neville

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#15
If you consider that a litre of spirits is equivalent to four bottles of 13% wine, and that (for example) Ronnie Wood was drinking over 2 litres of vodka a day for quite a long time - perhaps it's not so extreme. If it was Liebfraumilch or something equally sweet and relatively weak that Best was knocking back I would think it quite possible.
 

RaM

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#16
Best'y was a bloody good footballer though, pity it had to end that way,
though for drunks the late Olly Read took some beating.
 

Krepostnoi

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#17
That's just painful to watch. The production team should be ashamed of themselves for staging it, but instead they were probably congratulating themselves on their ratings.
 

kamalktk

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#18
In this instance you are correct in your doubt. Ten bottles of wine a day--with the suggestion that it's every day? Absurd claim, surely.

We're into the 'how many calories did Elvis consume?' territory.

The stuff of myth and legend.
The wrestler Andre the Giant could probably have done it. He was legendary for his drinking ability among other things.
 

escargot

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#19
When George Best had his liver transplant I was working in a hospital. There was liver for lunch and as I served it up I said 'Enjoy! George Best'd be grateful for that!'

What d'you mean, 'poor taste'?
 

Cochise

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#24
Bestie's problem, apparently, originally sprang from the fact that he didn't like beer. So while the rest of the lads were knocking back pints, he was knocking back doubles or trebles.

It's depressingly easy for some hack to lure a well-known alcoholic back into taking a drink, and of course then the full alcoholism kicks in. I did feel sorry for him, he did try to kick it several times. And he was pretty good on Soccer Saturday before the final descent.

I'm no MU fan, but he was a fabulous footballer - he was doing the sort of tricks they do nowadays but on pitches that were basically mud and sawdust with a few blades of grass. And you couldn't kick him to stop him either, as was the frequent fate of those thought to be 'being too clever by half' back in those days. First he was too fast to get most of the time, and second if someone did get him he just shrugged his shoulders and carried on.
 

RaM

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#25
I remember him dribbling twice round a opponent who in the end kicked Best'y
up in the air from frustration, I also remember him making a short comback
looking like a telly tubby but still had the magic.
 
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