George Best in Dalymount: Football As Never Before

George Best in Dalymount: Football As Never Before (Fußball wie noch nie)
Film Screening with Live Score
Thursday July 4th 2019, Dalymount Park
Doors/bars 7pm. Screening 9.30pm.

“Football is working-class ballet. It’s an experience of enchantment. For an hour and a half, a different order of time unfolds and one submits oneself to it. A football game is a temporal rupture with the routine of the everyday: ecstatic, evanescent and, most importantly, shared. At its best, football is about shifts in the intensity of experience. At times, it’s like Spinoza on maximizing intensities of existence. At other times, it’s more like Beckett’s Godot, where nothing happens twice.” (Simon Critchley, 2014)

TU Dublin, Bohemian FC and Dublin Business School are delighted to present a rare opportunity to see George Best at Dalymount Park – nearly 50 years after he last graced the Home of Irish football.

This is a unique opportunity to see the island’s greatest-ever player return to Dalyer. He most memorably took to the field in Dublin 7 at the peak of his powers as a reigning European champion for a benefit game in 1968 and famously also took on Waterford that same year in the European Cup when Matt Busby’s Manchester United came to Lansdowne Road.

He later played in further games at Dalymount Park for United in friendlies in the early 1970s and also lined out against Bohs for Cork Celtic at Turner’s Cross in 1976 (pictured below).

In a rare screening of Football As Never Before, released in 1971, the German director Hellmuth Costard used eight 16mm cameras to track Best’s every move during a Saturday league game against Coventry City. Made at the height of Best’s fame and tabloid notoriety, Costard’s film focuses insistently on Best – warming up, looking restless and bored, waiting tactically to unleash his genius – rather than the on-pitch action to arrive at a sublime and revealing rumination on celebrity and a tantalizing glimpse of the man behind the myth. The influence of this film can be felt in Douglas Gordon and Philippe Parreno’s well known 2006 variant Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait.

Central to the revival of this film is the work of Matthew Nolan, a Dublin-based musician who has rescued Football As Never Before from obscurity and composed a new score for the film. On July 4th, Costard’s film and Nolan’s score will be performed live on Dalymount’s hallowed turf for what promises to be a memorable occasion.

“The sun shone on Old Trafford on 12th September 1970 as Manchester United beat Coventry 2:0 in a league match. It was not an important victory; that season Man Utd would only be also-rans in the race for the championship. But a record was preserved of the match that is probably unique in the history of film and television. Using eight 16mm cameras, Hellmuth Costard, one of the most important experimental filmmakers in German cinema of the 60s and 70s, followed every move over the 90 minutes of the man in the red jersey with the number 11 – traditionally associated with the conventional outside left, but here worn by the mercurial George Best.” (Goethe Institut)

Note: The screen will be installed on the pitch and patrons will be seated in the Jodi Stand.

All profits will go to the Bohemian Foundation.

Tickets (general admission €15/BFC members/season ticket holders €12.5o) are available from

Football As Never Before (Fußball wie noch nie)

1970 I  Hellmuth Costard  I  Germany  I  105mins

Presented with a live musical accompaniment performed and written by:

  • Matthew Nolan – electric guitar
  • David Stalling – lap steel guitar / electronics
  • Seán Mac Erlaine – woodwinds, vocals and electronics
  • Bryan O’Connell – drums/percussion
  • Mary Barnecutt – cello
  • Kevin Murphy – cello

Website by Simon Alcock