Sunday, February 26, 2012

Best's best retort to a ref

Last night I covered the annual induction ceremony of the Pacifica Sports Hall of Fame for the Pacifica Tribune, where one of the inductees was retired NASL referee Klaus Kretschmer.

Kretschmer, a German immigrant and a Pacifica resident for almost five decades, related stories of his old refereeing days, including an encounter with soccer legend George Best (below). Kretschmer said the fiery Best, who like many aging European stars of the 1970s (e.g. Pelé*) was earning a past-his-prime paycheck in America, had a verbal issue.

George Best as a San Jose Earthquake.

“George Best had a problem with the English language — all he knew were the cuss words,” Kretschmer joked.

Best, then with a previous incarnation of the San Jose Earthquakes, had been previously carded by Kretschmer, who was about to book him again.

A cursing Best came running up to Kretschmer, and the referee said he’d pretend he didn’t hear Best’s verbal assault.

“You’re not just blind, you’re deaf too!” was Best’s reply.

* Or David Beckham and Thierry Henry these days.

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