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It was a very good read in The Mail today, by Craig Hope, that got me thinking. George Best died 10 years ago today.

I'm planning a special half hour tribute to the genius that was Best on Keys&Gray this Friday. We've got contributions from Pat Crerand, Alex Stepney and Kevin Keegan, who speaks very movingly about him, and Steve Evans. Not that one! 'Stephen' is currently filming George's life story. He did a brilliant job with 'Sevvy'. I can't wait and he'll be with us on Friday to give us an update on how things are going.

I find it amazing that George is as popular - arguably more so - than when he was with us. The movie promo gives us a hint as to why - the boy was a genius.

Off the pitch George was engaging company - and full of surprises, no matter how many times you were in his company. For instance, did you know he enjoyed knitting as a lad. Yes - knitting! He told me this once as I drove him to Manchester for a programme we were doing at Old Trafford the following day. Obviously it wasn't something I could keep to myself! When we gathered in the bar that evening Geoff Shreeves brought his pillow with him. 'Anymore of that boring s**t and you'll have me asleep' he said. To George Best! In a bar! What a day. Spending time with George at close quarters like that, driving him on the M6, surrounded by people who had no idea he was in my car. MY CAR! Amazing.

I first came across him during my days at tv-AM. Our Sports Editor, Jim Ferguson, got close to his agent, at the time a guy called Bill McMurdo, and we did a deal for George to become our football expert. The plan was George would come on our Saturday show - at 6.30 am. Yes, 6.30 in the morning. He was as good as gold. He only missed twice in two years. I was so pleased, as well as surprised by his attendance record I remember asking why it was he could turn up so regularly for us, but let so many other people down. He replied  'I only let c***s down. People I don't like'. I felt quite chuffed about that. Almost inevitably, he failed to show the following week! I don't know if he was getting up to join us, or coming straight on from a good night out, but he was fantastic.

He was still looking to grow his media work when I got to Sky. Time and again I tried to play him in in the early days, but there wasn't just a resistance to him - there was me! I remember being told that our Exec Producer, Andy Melvin, had issued instructions that 'we don't want Keysie's mates on our programmes'. I've told you before that Andy was a difficult man to get on with - but he was also damn good at what he did. The reason he didn't like me is that he didn't want me - simple. Andy's preferred choice to do my job was Mark Austin. Looking back I wish he'd got it!

Anyway, it took me forever to get George on a programme. Finally I got him on a show at Wimbledon. The other guest that day was John Fashanu. Melvin told me to 'address the football questions to John'. Best was there to 'look at and for colour', he added.  He didn't know George like I did. He was fantastic - and guess what - 'Keysie's mate' became an instant hit. Sky couldn't get enough of him.

There were times he was a handful, like one unforgettable evening in Newcastle. He was appearing on a programme called The Footballers' Football Show. We were going live in front of a huge audience at The Leezers Road end of St James' Park, in the unfinished stand. George turned up at the hotel beforehand drunk. He'd had a row with Mary Shatillo (his agent by then and girlfriend) and he'd stormed out.

It was my job to man mark him to make sure he didn't have so much drink as to render him useless in the show. Me - man marking George Best!  As we stood at the bar I noticed his jacket was bulging, making him look more dis-shevelled than he needed to. I mentioned it, he took notice - and started pulling bundles of £50.00 notes out of his pockets! He reckoned he had £50 grand on him 'I found it in the trouser press as I left' he said. Brilliant!!

The show, by the way, passed off without incident, with Kevin Keegan, Sir John Hall and Barry Venison. George was flawless.

Our guv'nor Vic Wakeling was terrific with George. That wasn't always the case with his staff. It was me that had to deliver the message to Claire Tomlinson to 'show more of her tits in that tunnel if she wants to keep her job'. That was the origin of the ironic video that was later released to discredit us - again. Taken it of context - again. None of us could believe an instruction like that from the highest office in the dept. But Vic promised George 'a job for life' at Sky and he was true to his word.

Ten years ago today I remember watching George's funeral, brilliantly hosted by his countryman Eamonn Holmes, sitting, just crying.

Yes, George was a drunk as well as a genius. He was blighted by the disease that is alcohol. He split opinions because of it. But trust me, there wasn't an ounce of malice in him. Had he been able to conquer his demons he would've done. In the end he had to compromise and live with them. Sad. Very, very sad.

In the promo for the film he says 'I hope I'm remembered for the football'. If he'd played today he would've eclipsed Messi. In my view he was better. I remember the football George - and a really nice guy that I'm proud to say considered me a friend. Thanks for the memories.

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Well well. Leicester City - top of the P Lge. All I can say is that it's thoroughly deserved. Claudio Ranieri's team have been an absolute pleasure to watch this season. If I was paying to get in to see a team play right now it would be Leicester 

I know, I said before a ball was kicked this season the chances were he'd be out of work before Xmas, but I refer to 'Ranieri's Leicester' with a purpose. He's picked up where Nigel Pearson left off and he's made it his team. In the process, he's making more than one or two of us look like mugs! They're vibrant, entertaining, brave and they're sweeping teams away with a cavalier style of football that's fun. That's the operative word as well - fun. They've been brilliant. We'll be leading the real MNF with Leicester, because they're the story right now. 

Leading the charge is Jamie Vardy. Four years ago this weekend he was scoring for Fleetwood against Stockport. His journey to the top has been a fairy tale, but again, no-one can deny he doesn't deserve his success. Goals in 10 consecutive P Lge games is phenomenal. He's closing in on Jimmy Done's top league record of 12, set playing for Sheffield United in 1932. Good luck to him and if Leicester are to mount a challenge for a European place they'll need to hang onto him. But can they?  Vardy is 28 now and time is against him. If he wants to play for a top club he'll have to go sooner rather than later. 

I mentioned in my last piece that Pearson, who took a big gamble on him initially, reckons he can get goals at the very highest level. If Vardy believes that then he'll have to back himself and move. But where to?

United? He'd certainly give their pedestrian style something different. Arsenal? He might get them enough goals to secure the title. Chelsea? He's more of a handful than Costa right now and Chelsea have nothing else if he gets injured again. Liverpool? I doubt it, not with Benteke already there. What about Spurs? They've got less options than Chelsea should something happen to Harry Kane. He could also play with Kane, who quite likes to drift off the front in that No 10 jersey - I've mentioned that before as well! 

I'm really impressed by Spurs as well right now. Most weeks the team starting has an average age of 24 1/2. I didn't know what to make of them early season, but Pochettino has got something going there. If Chelsea don't make the top 4, they're my favourites to change the established order. Next weekend's game against Chelsea will tell us more about them.  

Liverpool looked good at the weekend, but City were dreadful. Just when I thought they'd found the solution to their legendary inconsistency they're at it again. Here's one prediction that I won't be wrong about - Pellegrini will go at the end of the season, whether he wins silverware or not. He's a decent man, but if you've invested what City have, it's no good hoping. They've GOT to be better. 

I was delighted that Swansea responded the way they did against Bournemouth. If they'd lost, I believe Garry Monk would be gone. Amazing isn't it? It's 83 days since Swansea beat United and Monk was getting a mention to succeed Roy Hodgson. Mad eh? Stick with him Swansea, Monk will learn more about himself from this difficult period than he will when it's going well. 

Arsenal shouldn't have lost - but how typical of them. What a missed chance to go clear at the top. I'm still on them to win the title though. 

I'm afraid I think Villa have gone. They were a shambles at Everton. More worrying for Villa fans is that I'm hearing that nobody at Villa Park seems to grasp what relegation really means this season.  Oh well, for Coventry fans it could very well mean the derby is back on again next season! I know, I know, I sound like a West Ham fan don't i? Celebrating a bit too soon when you know very well what's going to happen!

On that subject, The Hammers have now made an identical start to last season, but the goal difference is a little bit worse, whilst the percentage of long balls they've hit games is up from 18.5% to 22%. I think we've mentioned this before as well - perceptions eh?

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I'm an addict and I'm happy to admit it - again. My guilty pleasure? Newspapers. There you have it. I can't function unless I've trawled my way through the British press on a daily basis - and I love it. It's also rare that I go to bed at night and haven't updated myself with what's going on in the world 'on line'.

I watch news programmes from around the world, documentaries and current affairs shows. I can't get enough of them.

Do I believe what I read? Well, that depends on the publication, but mostly, no. An inquisitive mind can't just absorb, it questions. Andy often calls me a 'sceptic'. There's no such thing - I'm a 'realist' and I've treated the British press with a 'realism' since Kelvin McKenzie - yes, the former Editor of the Sun, told me that if newspapers couldn't find what they wanted to destroy me 'they'd make it up'. He said this 'it gives me no pleasure to admit it, but I invented this form of journalism'. I've mentioned this here before. Staggering.

Is it all bent? No, of course not. There are some damned good investigative journalists working today, but they're in the minority.  What is also interesting is sitting where I do and getting two very different views - east and west - of the same story. Watching the reporting of the recent downed Russian airliner was fascinating.

Here's another example of shoddy or, shall we say, selective journalistic thinking. I was in conversation once with a highly regarded Fleet Street sports journalist about 'bungs'. The name of one X P Lge manager came up and it brought a wry smile, a chuckle and this response 'ah come on, he's only nicking a bit off the top. No harm done'. No harm done? It's theft. He should be locked up. In any other walk of life he would be. But the individual concerned and the journalist are mates so 'no harm done'. I read often his guys stance on sporting morality with a wry smile - and a chuckle.

What I'm getting to is the furore and indignity that's followed WADA's report into Russia's 'sabotaging of the 2012 London Olympics through a systematic programme of giving their athletes performance-enhancing drugs'. Surprised? Not me. Indignant? Not me. I'm delighted. It's about time this kind of skulduggery was exposed.

Outrageous isn't it? Those pesky Russians. Putin is a pariah. Ban the Lot of them from Brazil - that'll fix it.

No it won't. And why are the Russians so combative and full of denials about all this? The answer is simple - because everybody else is at it as well. Who said so? Dick Pound, the author of the report 'this is the tip of the iceberg. We certainly don't think Russia is the only federation and athletics is the only sport with a doping problem'. Cycling gets a mention. Do we believe this sport is now clean because we're told it is? I don't. We were told that before.

One of the great joys of my time at talkSPORT was being in a position to talk about these things. We did - a lot. I met some fascinating people along the way. 

Sport, no life, is riddled with people trying to get one over on somebody else by gaining an advantage that she/he shouldn't have. What about SImon Barnes, a top class operator, in The Mail today. 'Football may be run by disgusting old crooks, but the matches themselves, played by wonderful young athletes, are just good old sport, so come on my lot and I hope yours lose'. Oh Simon. Spend an hour with Stuart Page, Director at the excellent Sport Integrity-Intl. Cooperation & Policy. He'll change your mind on that. 

Where do all these oversized bodies come from that the top football stars have built nowadays? The gym? Perhaps. I rather think Dr Eufemiano Fuentes might be able to help a bit more on this subject. WADA are still trying to get their hands on the names that match the blood bags stored in his fridge. A Spanish judge ordered them to be destroyed when Fuentes was in court charged with 'breaking public health laws'. Why destroy the blood and tear up the list of names?  Fuentes got a one year suspended sentence by the way! 

Everybody working in my business has heard tales of cheating, of 'nicking a few quid off the top', but few, if any, want to dig and ask questions. In whose interest would that really be? If the world's best athlete, whoever that might be, was proven to be a drugs cheat right now, who would benefit? 

Why wasn't Lance Armstrong exposed sooner than he was? Why was Ben Johnson the only man convicted of cheating after the dirtiest race in history? Read the book by the same name, from memory I think the first man running clean finished 5th. 

Carl Lewis, who was awarded that race after Johnson failed drugs tests, failed three of his own, he later said 'there were hundreds of people getting off. Everyone was treated the same'. Why wasn't this followed up? 

The Sunday Times excellent 'Insight' team recently told us that Graeme Souness had watched testers switch a sample of Maradona's urine during a post match test. Why didn't I see this more widely reported? Was Maradona the only player to benefit from this kind of help?  

What did Arsene Wenger mean when he said of a C Lge disappointment recently 'it is very difficult when you are under par and your opponent is doped'. 

I fear this WADA report will outrage today and be forgotten tomorrow. It's too damaging to pursue, but I hope I'm wrong. 

Meanwhile I also read today that Russia's 2018 WC finals chief, Vitaly Mutko, has been dragged into the mess. 

That the ICC chairman, N Srinivasan, has been replaced as cricket tries to clean up its act. 

That Wolfgang Niersbach has resigned as the president of the German football federation, suspected of 'having known about and assisting with the payment of sums to secure votes for the 2006 World Cup'.

FIFA? Let's not go there. But how about this? More than 133.6 billion euros of European Union budget payments were 'affected by material error' last year. In other words, they were illegal. 

Oh, and the European Court of Auditors fails to give the EU budget a clean bill of health for the 21st year running. God help us.