Date: 1st December 2005 at 10:33am
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One of the most emotional of Old Trafford nights, and George Best’s latest successor in the No 7 shirt added his own tribute by striking home the opening goal. Yet I don’t believe Ronaldo himself, would ever dare to suggest he may one day replace him in United’s enduring affections.

Best’s son Calum paused to reflect on the floral tributes before taking his place in the pre-match guard of honour, including Best’s 1968 European Cup-winning team-mates, and two Albion defenders he had run rings around on his famous debut.

Alex Ferguson and his opposite number Bryan Robson led the teams out holding wreaths.

Best’s former team-mate Sir Bobby Charlton said: ‘I would like to pay my respects to a giant of the game of football and, on behalf of the Manchester United family here, the players, staff and indeed Manchester United fans around the world, I would just like to say a big thank you to George Best and just to say you will never be forgotten here.’

After an impeccably observed minute’s silence the teams kicked off with the impossible task of somehow living up to the memories of the man whose life they had just celebrated.

But … ‘life goes on’ … as they say.