NASL Sounder great Adrian Webster was unable to make the reunion match the MLS Sounders held on Friday. It was a week of reflection for the Sounders men of that era. They had to say goodbye to the first Seattle coach, John Best, who passed away at the age of 74. Webster shared these thoughts with us.
“I was saddened to hear of the passing of John Best. It was John who signed me for the Sounders and little did I know at the time that it would be one of the best experiences of my life. From the day I arrived in Seattle John was perhaps the one person I could talk to and come away feeling like I was a much better player than I actually was. Along with Jimmy Gabriel I believe these two legends to be the foundation of professional soccer in Seattle. As a player you got to see all of his many qualities: his good looks, his charm, man management skills, dignity, humour…I could go on. But very little has been said about his coaching skills. Jimmy has had much said about his coaching knowledge and rightly so but I think he would be the first to acknowledge what a good coach John was before becoming General Manager of the Whitecaps. I now live in England and I know that if Coach Best had accomplished what he did in North America here they would either erect a statue or name a stand after him. To be the first coach of the Seattle Sounders will never be repeated and I hope his legacy will be recognised in a very special way. To Claudia and his family I can only say how sorry I am for your loss and to all the guys who played under him I know we all have our special memories and through this sad occasion I know there will be a lot of looking back to what was truly a remarkable time. Thank You, John Best.”
The current Sounders were able to honor Best with a Golden Scarf last year. There was a moment of silence in Best’s honor before the last home match.