Thirty-eight years ago the man many consider the greatest of all time - Northern Ireland's incomparable George Best - ran out on a suburban Sydney football field.
This is the story of how a small part-time club lured a world superstar to the northern beaches for one of the most memorable nights in local sporting history.
Best was 37 and battling debt and alcoholism, his days as 'the fifth Beatle' at Manchester United long behind him.
With sponsor Malaysian Airlines (MAS) funding his flights, he basically turned himself into a performing seal, offering his services to clubs around the world for cash payments.
Still, the prospect of Best playing a Wednesday night exhibition match at rundown Cromer Park in Dee Why is akin to Roger Federer turning up to play a quick three-setter at your local tennis court or Tiger Woods teeing off at the public golf course down the road and pulling up a stool at the clubhouse bar after his round.
But money talks and when a sponsor, believed to be a local bakery, stumped up the $5000, a deal was struck between Best's manager Bill McMurdo and a contact at Dee Why.
Five grand is worth about three times that amount in today's money - not bad dough for 90 minutes' work. There would be drama over the fee, hours after the match.
On a cold winter's night - July 27, 1983 - sporting royalty descended on peninsula football headquarters and a big crowd crammed into the ground for a glimpse of the player dubbed "the greatest in the world" by none other than Pele.
Best lined-up for second division State League side Dee Why against Manly-Warringah, positioned one level above the Swans.
McMurdo turned out for Manly. "Best was basically a mercenary at the time and was getting payments from wherever he could," Manly's Peter Falconer said. "He was over here to pick up some quick funds. He didn't care who he played for at that stage."
The Dee Why team consisted part-time players who worked a 9 to 5 week and played on the weekends. Most of them were of an age where Best was a demi-god.
They had seen and read about his exploits on and off the pitch - the goals, the women, the booze, the wealth. And here they were, lacing up their boots alongside him in the dank and tiny change-rooms at modest Cromer Park.
"It was surreal sitting there in a dressing-room at Cromer Park getting changed with George Best," Ian Foy, who was Dee Why's 23-year-old centre half, said. "For people of my era, George Best was the Ronaldo or Messi of that time."
Falconer said: "Everyone was a fan. Everyone knew the magnitude of his career. Not in your wildest dreams did you think you'd get to play against George Best or a Pele or a Maradona. All of sudden there he is at Cromer Park playing against Manly-Warringah. It was as much a curiosity as it was a thrill."
Pre-game, Best told journalist Mike Cockerill: "I am still playing and touring because I enjoy it and I remain in demand. To me, it is all good therapy because if I wasn't involved I would head off to the pub or get into some other mischief."
Despite having Best in their line-up, Dee Why lost 3-2 in an entertaining fixture.
But the man they all came to see didn't disappoint. Best hit the framework twice from long range before scoring the Swans' second goal on the hour, running onto a through ball and lobbing the keeper before tapping the ball into an empty net.
"He did two or three incredible things in the course of the game. In the first half he intercepted a pass and saw the goalkeeper was off his line and tried to chip him from 35, 40m and hit the crossbar," Falconer said. "That was pretty amazing in itself and then he nut-megged (team-mate) Peter Vale twice in two strides. Not only did he get him the first time but by the time Peter had turned around he'd nut-megged him again."
Dee Why's Dom Pearman, who was 18, recalled: "We got told to play it to his feet, not to make him run."
Team-mate Foy concurred, adding: "The game was very open and everyone from the Dee Why point of view just kept trying to feed him the ball. We were probably 10 or 20 per cent more fired-up than normal just because of his presence. He got into a bit and took a real interest in the game. I remember at one point of the second half when Manly were attacking and he was shouting at our defence to stay up. He wanted to win. He took it more seriously than you'd expect."
British talk show host Michael Parkinson and former Manchester United manager Tommy Docherty, who was coaching Sydney Olympic at the time, were among those at the game.
Entry was $2 for adults and free for children, with one lucky ticket holder winning an all-expenses paid trip to Hobart's Wrestpoint Casino.
Dee Why had to pay for extra lighting to ensure Australia's new multicultural television station 0-28 (later re-branded SBS) could capture vision of the match.
Pre-game, Swans coach Ken Malam declared: "We are not doing this with the aim of raising money, but for the good of soccer in the district. It would be a great thrill to see five or six thousand people at Cromer Park."
There was no official crowd figure but those in attendance estimate close to 3000 packed into the tiny ground to watch Best. Cockerill wrote: "The predominantly young crowd will be able to cherish the time they saw the sheer artistry of one of the most gifted soccer players of all time."
The money issues
After the game, Best mingled easily with players and fans at what passed as Cromer Park's social club. He was off the drink and sipping tea at the time, but it didn't stop him heading back to a house party up Newport way with McMurdo in tow.
Things were very civil until it came time to pay up.
"George and his agent went upstairs to get paid the cash and were instead handed a cheque," Foy recalled. "There was a lot of banging on the table and loud words from George's manager. They weren't interested in a cheque. Suddenly five grand cash appeared. George was very nice. He was off the drink at the time and seemed happy enough to be there."