ANGIE BEST has revealed the shocking and destructive lows of her marriage to Manchester United legend George Best.
The Northern Irishman, who died in 2005 after complications following a liver transplant, will go down as one of British football’s greatest ever players.
But Angie, who married Best in 1978 and had only son Calum, has revealed how Best struggled with chronic depression alongside his well known battle with alcoholism.
She told the Daily Mail: “He tried rehab twice — it was absolutely useless.
"All he did was end up having an affair with one of the clinicians!"
The Posh & Becks of their day, the pair met at a party in Malibu, California, in the mid-1970s while the footballer was playing for the Los Angeles Aztecs – Angie, a former Playboy bunny, had moved to the US to pursue a career as a model.
By then, Best was already past his prime and a heavy drinker.
During their courtship he would leave for week-long alcohol-fuelled benders, slept with Angie's best friend and even made a pass at her sister.
Angie says that Best struggled to deal with the pressure of being football’s first true celebrity without the kind of support high profile players get now.
She added: "He was the first of his kind, but he had nobody to show him the way, not like today when footballers have agents and managers and shrinks.
"We just had each other and I obviously wasn’t enough.”
Even when she tried to intervene, Best would find ways around it.
"Being married to an alcoholic makes you such a horrible, ugly person.
"I’d make him take his Antabuse [tablets that induce vomiting when mixed with aolcohol] every morning, sticking his tongue out to prove he’d swallowed it.
"But he’d hide the pills between the gap in his front teeth. Weeks later, I’d find them in his jeans’ pockets.
"Once it got so drastic I broke up a sleeping pill and put it in his tea to try to make him stay home — he slept for 24 hours, it was terrifying. I didn’t try that again.
"You want to say to their friends, 'Don’t let him drink' but they don’t give a s***."
After just three years of marriage the couple separated, divorcing five years later, with Best even going on a two-week bender and failing to come home when Calum was just three weeks old.
Angie remained in the US, but son Calum was allowed to return to the UK regularly to see his dad – although he would return home with “terrible” stories of verbal and physical abuse.
He also once left an 11-year-old Calum alone in a hotel room while he went out drinking.
"It was so heartbreaking,” she adds, "Calum would come back with terrible stories and I couldn’t say or do anything, because getting mad wouldn’t have changed anything.
"George couldn’t see past the end of his nose, let alone be a father to his son, but I still never, ever stopped Calum from seeing him.
"A child needs both parents, so I had to allow him to go down this path. If I’d put blockages in the way he would have just found some way round them."
Angie has since enjoyed a career as a personal trainer to the stars – with Sharon Stone and Cher on her client list.
She know offers up wellness advice on her social media pages and has been with current partner Mark Miller, a former NHL star, for 22 years.
Speaking about her past life, she says: "No regrets. I wouldn’t change any of what happened, because now my son is a guru and I have an amazing life.
"It’s just such a shame George is not here to see it all. But that was his choice."
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