Belfast Telegraph

Bitter feud between George Best's son and the rest of the footballer's family

By Ivan Little

A bitter feud between George Best's son and the rest of the footballer's family in Northern Ireland has exploded publicly.

A new documentary includes claims that Calum hated his father; that he received none of his father's footballing memorabilia, and that his mother Angie was banned from her ex-husband's Belfast  home on the day of his funeral

All of the main allegations in the half-hour Stephen Nolan programme Story of a Lifetime, to be shown tonight, are challenged by Best's sister Barbara McNarry, who calls on her nephew to stop "badmouthing" his father.

The souring of relations between Calum and the rest of the Bests has intensified in the nine years since the Man United and Northern Ireland star died after suffering multiple organ failure in a London hospital.

But the wounds between the Bests have never been clearly exposed in public before, with Calum saying George wasn't "a f****** good dad" and questioning whether or not he actually loved his son.

Ex-wife Angie also weighs in against her former husband saying that when he was drunk he was a violent, deceitful, manipulative, aggressive liar.

"Calum only ever knew a drunk father" she says.

But his sister Barbara defends the footballing legend against what she says are the horrendous and shocking comments from his ex-wife.

She says "How many times do we have to hear this same old, same old.

"I just thought - why do we have to hear this all again? Why can we just not let George go? George may not have been the best father in the world. He probably wasn't the best son or brother in the world, but he was what he was and people just have to accept him, warts and all."

Calum also claims he had to organise his own taxi to take him and his mother in George's funeral cortege to and from Stormont, and that Angie wasn't allowed into the Best home in Burren Way. "I broke down in tears when I was told my mum couldn't come in and pay her respects."

But Barbara says the only mourners in the house were people who were at George's bedside when he died.

"If that's the way that Calum wants to interpret it - that his mother wasn't allowed into the house - so be it. But Angie Best wasn't top of my priority list. My father was," says Barbara, who also refutes Calum's claim that he didn't receive any of his father's possessions after his passing.

"He got his father's very good watch that he left him," she says in the programme.

She says as the sole beneficiary of George's will she didn't own any of her brother's footballing memorabilia and it took five "long, difficult, emotional-draining and expensive years" trying to settle his estate. "I wasn't in a position to give Calum anything," she says, adding that after her father Dickie passed away in 2008 she bought George's momentoes, which had been in Dickie's possession and which he instructed should be sold after his death.

When asked what Calum chose to buy, she replies: "Nothing."

And Angie says: "He hates his father for what he has done to him. He loves his father as a father, but he let him down so badly; he hates him and you can't blame him."

Barbara says she doesn't bear Calum any ill will but adds: "I just wish he would stop casting such desperate aspersions on his father's character. He really does paint the most awful picture of his father especially at this time of his anniversary. It's just sad."

  • Story of a Lifetime, tonight, BBC1, 10.35pm.

Belfast Telegraph

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph