George Best: The Mud Throwing Incident

George Best received his first ever-red card for Northern Ireland for throwing mud at the referee in 1970.

The incident occurred in a Home Nations clash between the boys in green and Scotland at Windsor Park.

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Scotland international Tommy McLean recalled the famous incident in his memoirs, ‘Football in my blood: My autobiography.’ 

At Windsor Park in Belfast we came away with a 1-0 win, courtesy of John O’Hare. There never seemed to be a dull moment with Scotland and that game seemed to be no different.

“It was a lousy affair, with lots of grappling and some meaty tackles flying in all over the pitch, so it was no surprise when there was a red car, although the circumstances were a bit odd.

“It was George Best who was in the middle of it all, as usual. He’d missed a couple of decent chances and was starting to let frustration get the better of him, complaining to the referee that he was being fouled.

“When his claims for a free-kick were waved away, best bent down and picked up some clumps of mud and tuef and hurled them at the referee.

“And that was that, Northern Ireland were down to ten men.”

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