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Top footballer's best private plates

George Best Mini with private number plate G18 EST

NB: We show George's plate here in its misspaced format for historical accuracy but we strongly advise readers not to display number plates with any spacing except that approved in the regulations. The regulations are vigorously enforced and penalties for non-compliance are substantial.

Footballers have been heroes for generations but the era of the real celebrity superstar player began in the 1960s. Televised football gained the sport a vastly expanded audience and its popularity exploded. The skills of people such as Bobby Charlton, Dennis Law, Bobby Moore, Geoff Hurst and others made for great weekend viewing and many players found themselves transformed from local heroes into national celebrities.

Global phenomenon

Football also became more prominent and influential overseas. Indeed, it was reported that Brazil's genius Pele was so admired in Africa that the Nigerian Civil War was paused in 1969 so the warring sides could watch Pele and his Santos team play an exhibition match against a Nigerian side in Lagos. The 48-hour ceasefire enabled the sides to play to a draw, with two goals each. Much to the satisfaction of spectators, Pele scored both of the Santos goals.


In Britain, a young man from Belfast made a big name for himself with Manchester United. George Best was one of the most talented players of his generation and one of the most glamorous. George was arguably football's first real lifestyle celebrity. He was constantly in the newspapers and on TV screens as the public eagerly consumed every morsel of gossip about Best, his girlfriends and his flashy cars.

In the 1960s, George Best embodied the "swinging 60s" zeitgeist. His fame and haircut earned him the nicknames 'Beatle Best' and 'The Fifth Beatle' both overseas and in the UK press. Although he became associated with Jaguar cars, especially E-Types in the 1970s, George was also a fan of that other, slightly different, British icon, the Mini.

The best things come in small packages

There are quite a few photos showing George in 1969 sitting in his Radford Mini. That fits well with the Beatle image as the Fab Four had also each had their own Minis supplied to order a couple of years earlier. Well, George later sold that Mini and replaced it with a Lotus Europa, but he did return to the famous compact in later years.

On a recent visit to the National Football Museum in Manchester, our marketing manager snapped a picture of George's 2002 Mini Cooper S. The car still bears George's G18 EST ("G Best") private number plates. George owned this Mini until his death in 2005.

George Best museum exhibit

Soccer celebs are now common but it was George Best who showed football how to be fashionable and cool. Today's stars may be bigger and richer but George did it all first and, some would say, best.

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The role of DVLA

Car registrations and number plates, including personalised number plates, in the UK, are the responsibility of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency, usually known as the DVLA. It issues new registrations twice a year and also maintains the central database that records details of all vehicles licensed to drive on UK roads, along with their keeper and registration information.

Regtransfers works closely with DVLA to complete registration transfers as quickly and efficiently as possible. Regtransfers is a DVLA-registered supplier of personal car registrations and number plates and is listed on the DVLA Registrations website. All number plates supplied by Regtransfers comply with DVLA's prescribed standards and regulations.

DVLA administers all UK registration transfers and issues updated registration documents when the registration number of a car is changed, or when a registration is removed from a vehicle and placed on a retention document in accordance with the DVLA Retention Scheme.

DVLA is a registered trade mark of the Driver & Vehicle Licensing Agency. Regtransfers is not affiliated with the DVLA or DVLA Personalised Registrations. Regtransfers is a recognised reseller of unissued Government stock.

Number plate regulations

When a car is on the road, it is an offence to display number plates bearing any number other than the vehicle's officially recorded registration number. If you purchase a private registration, learn how to transfer private plates before displaying the new number.

All registration number plates displayed on UK vehicles must comply with the official number plate regulations. DVLA oversees enforcement of number plates display regulations and maintains a register of approved manufacturers and retailers of vehicle number plates.

Regtransfers is not part of, and is not formally affiliated with DVLA.

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