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Thread: Soccer legend George Best dies

  1. #1
    NI FORT fan Belfastgirl's Avatar
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    Apr 2004

    Soccer legend George Best dies

    Football legend George Best dies

    George Best had suffered weeks of ill-health
    Former football star George Best has died in hospital at the age of 59.
    Son Calum, 24, who had kept an all-night vigil at Best's bedside, said: "Not only have I lost my dad but we've all lost a wonderful man."

    Best died in intensive care at 1255 GMT on Friday following "a long and very valiant fight", said a statement from west London's Cromwell Hospital.

    The ex-Manchester United and Northern Ireland star had multiple organ failure following weeks of ill health.

    George should be remembered as the very best at what he did

    Best's father Dickie, 87, was among family members at the bedside overnight.

    A statement from Best's second wife, Alex, said: "George was the love of my life. He was a unique and talented person who made a lot of people very happy."


    Republic of Ireland Prime Minister Bertie Ahern led tributes, describing Best as one of his "one of the best players the world has ever seen".

    "In the days ahead people will struggle with words to try to describe his talent," Mr Ahern said.

    "In this regard George should be remembered as the very best at what he did. He was quite simply a football genius."


    March 2000: Severe liver damage diagnosed
    February 2001: Treated for pneumonia
    April 2001: Anti-alcohol pellets implanted into his stomach
    July 2002: Undergoes liver transplant
    November 2004: Routine operation to check on liver transplant
    October 2005: Treated for kidney infection in intensive care
    November 2005: Lung infection sees condition worsen

    Decline of the golden boy
    The hospital statement continued: "The thoughts of all staff at Cromwell Hospital are with Mr Best's family at this time."

    Best had been in hospital since entering with flu-like symptoms on 1 October, later suffering a kidney infection.

    His condition deteriorated sharply last Friday with the development of a lung infection that led to internal bleeding.

    Best, a recovering alcoholic, was particularly susceptible to infection because of medicines he needed after a 2002 liver transplant.

    The Belfast-born former footballer and television pundit had been prescribed medication to suppress the immune system and prevent his body rejecting the new liver.

    At the time of his hospital admission in October, Best's agent Phil Hughes said his client had been "off the drink" before being admitted to the hospital.


    Best is widely regarded as one of the greatest players to have graced the British and world game.

    His heyday occurred during the 1960s, and he brought a pop star image to the game for the first time.

    But the accompanying champagne and playboy lifestyle degenerated into alcoholism, bankruptcy, a prison sentence for drink-driving and, eventually, his controversial liver transplant.

    He helped Manchester United win the First Division title in 1965 and 1967 and the European Cup in 1968. His role in the team's success was recognised by his becoming the European Footballer of the Year in 1968.

    Best made 466 appearances for the Old Trafford club, scoring a total of 178 goals.

    He also won 37 caps - scoring nine goals - for Northern Ireland.


    Sad but very much expected news. His name says it all, the Best footballer in the world, even Pele says that. In Manchester in the 1960s he was called the "fifth Beatle" and he was certainly the first football superstar.
    His health deteriorated markedly over the last few weeks. He courageously allowed The Sun to publish a photograph of him taken last week in hospital, as a warning to others.

    He was a real "Belfast Boy", his family home only a mile from mine. He's always been much loved by my family. I can't really add t the tributes you'll find online, check out www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk as a starting point.
    God bless George!
    Last edited by Belfastgirl; 11-25-2005 at 09:36 AM. Reason: links

  2. #2
    Who Dat lildago's Avatar
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    Feb 2004
    He was one of the best and the game will miss him.
    Getting lost will help you find yourself.

  3. #3
    Yoffy lifts a finger... fluff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Such sad news.
    Much as there was always a fierce rivalry between Liverpool and Man U fans, we could always appreciate genius and Best was precisely that.

  4. #4
    RENThead JLuvs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Commuting for Work

    A legend is gone.
    Whenever you see darkness, there is extraordinary opportunity for the light to burn brighter.

  5. #5
    FORT Newbie
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    A flawed genius but a legend nevertheless.

  6. #6
    NI FORT fan Belfastgirl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Ulster will come to a halt for Best
    Thousands set for funeral and millions to watch on TV

    By Debra Douglas and Jonathan McCambridge
    newsdesk@belfasttelegraph.co.u k

    28 November 2005
    NORTHERN Ireland will come to a standstill on Saturday with hundreds of thousands of mourners expected to say goodbye to George Best.

    His funeral will be one of the biggest public gatherings ever seen in the province. Millions more will watch on television.

    Best's cortege will leave the family home at Burren Way, in the Cregagh estate in Belfast at 10am, before proceeding to Parliament Buildings, Stormont.

    Secretary of State Peter Hain agreed to allow the estate to be used after he was approached by the Best family.

    Although details of arrangements for Stormont have not yet been announced, it is thought there will be a mix of a public and private ceremony in the Great Hall.

    The cortege will then leave Stormont and proceed to Roselawn Cemetery in the Castlereagh Hills where he will be buried beside his mother Ann.

    East Belfast MP Peter Robinson said the event would be an opportunity for all of the people of Northern Ireland to say goodbye to George.

    He said: "The arrangements are being put in place, the family have asked for use of the Stormont Estate so that people will be able to watch the cortege arrive and leave.

    "There will also be the opportunity for people to listen to the service on a PA system and big screens will be put up for them to watch.

    "Weather permitting, I would imagine there will be hundreds of thousands of people lining the streets and millions more watching it on TV."

    Mr Robinson added: "I think the family have made the right decision, most people would opt for a quiet family funeral but this is their way of saying thank you to all the fans of George Best who will now have the chance to say goodbye."

    The MP added that it would be up to the family to decide on the nature of the service including what music was played. It is not yet known who will officiate at the service.

    "Obviously, it will be a sad occasion but it will also be a celebration," he said.

    It is believed there will then be a private gathering for the family and close friends of the famous player at La Mon House Hotel, Moneyreagh.

    As many as half a million people, many from around the world, are expected to flock to the funeral.

    Football stars past and present are expected to attend although it is not yet known if Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson will be present as his side have a game later in the day.

    There is also expected to be a heavy police presence on the day.

    It is understood Sky and the BBC will broadcast the funeral live around the world to Best's millions of fans, although discussions are still ongoing.

    Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph last night, Best's agent and friend Phil Hughes said: "I will be bringing him home on Wednesday."

    The funeral will mean a number of sporting fixtures scheduled to take place on Saturday will be postponed, including the CIS Cup final between Linfield and Glentoran.

    IFA chief executive, Howard Wells, said a decision would be taken later today on the rest of the local football fixtures.

    He said: "We have already had a number of messages from people calling for us to postpone the games."


    Belfast and N.Ireland will come to a halt for this. This is so local to me, I'm planning to watch the cortege going to and from Stormont. It'll be one of the few occasions that this little country will truly come together!
    Act your age, not your shoe size!

  7. #7
    Just found this thread, such sad news.

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