Bits & Pieces – Belle View Kitten, George Best & Viv Richards
May 1, 1962:
They say a cat can look at a queen … but a cockatoo?
New zoo kitten Ten-Sing gets to know the animals at Belle Vue as he’s taken for a tour by Sylvia Mainwaring, the head of the children’s zoo.
Work started on the children’s zoo in 1955 in the gardens next to the old Firework Factory. It was opened by stage actor Francis Lederer dressed as the Pied Piper.
As well as animals, the children’s zoo housed Willie the 32ft long concrete whale. Inside was an aquarium.
May 5, 1968:
United attacker George Best leans on the gate of his digs in Aycliffe Avenue, Chorlton-cum-Hardy – on the brink of superstardom.
The 1967-8 season effectively launched Best on the world stage. United won the European Cup and Best was voted European Footballer of the Year as well as the British Football Writers’ Association Footballer of the Year.
He finished the season as United’s top scorer with 32 goals in all competitions.
May 3, 1987:
Somerset’s loss was Lancashire’s gain when it came to finding a club for West Indies legend Viv Richards in the 1987 season.
Richards settled on Rishton County Cricket Club after he and West Indian team-mate Joel Garner were sacked by Somerset. Ian Botham refused to renew his contract with Somerset in disgust.
Rishton’s chairman Wilf Woodhouse made the offer to Richards more in hope than expectation – and was amazed when the West Indies’ captain accepted.
Richards, described as ‘possibly the most destructive batsman the sport has ever seen’, needed the playing time to prepare for the West Indies tour the following season.