Manchester in the late 1960s and early 1970s revolved around the exploits of one man - George Best. At his side throughout this exciting period was his best friend and confidante Malcolm Wagner (or Waggy as he is universally known). Now for the first time Waggy sets the record straight on George’s exploits during a period when he was the most recognisable face in the world.
George Best’s playboy lifestyle was tabloid fodder for years but what was the true nature of Bestie? Why did he go AWOL so often during his career at Manchester United and what drove him to destroy a football career that reached a pinnacle in 1968 when he was named the best player in the world?
Waggy is in the best position to know because he was there throughout this exciting period and saw another side to George - the shy lad from Belfast who had talent and looks that turned him into a sensation both on and off the pitch.
Waggy reveals the full story behind George’s sensational retirement at the age of 26, when the pair fled to Majorca, describes how they evaded the Mafia by holing up on a Hollywood producer’s ranch and opened Slack Alice nightclub when their favourite discotheque closed down.
At its centre ‘George Best and Me’ is the tale of two lads with the world at their feet in an era when anything seemed possible.
MALCOLM WAGNER has been a pop star, nightclub owner, hairdresser to the stars, international playboy, publican, restrauteur, hotelier, inventor, pilot, husband and office boy during an action-packed life.
As lead singer of early sixties pop group ‘The Whirlwinds’, alongside future 10cc front man Graham Gouldman, Malcolm played on the burgeoning northern club circuit at legendary venues such as the Devonshire Sporting Club and Bernard Manning’s ‘World Famous Embassy’.
Following the success of his Village Barber hairdressing business and his continued globe-trotting, Malcolm opened Slack Alice nightclub in 1973 with George Best and business partner Colin Burne. Later, Malcolm expanded into the restaurant trade, opening Oscars on the site of the old Waldorf Hotel before going on to run Mr Thomas’s Chop House, another famous Manchester institution. Along the way, Waggy also hit upon an idea for an ice dispenser, the invention of which took him years to complete before he bought The Grants Arms Hotel in Ramsbottom in the early 1990s.
Now retired, 'Waggy' looks back on an eventful life that has seen him befriend the good, the bad and the ugly of Manchester society, and emerge as a friend to most.