Belfast Telegraph

George Best's family at war: Calum hits back at claims he betrayed his father

By Joanne Sweeney

Calum Best has hit back at comments made by his family that he has "betrayed" his football legend father George with his controversial autobiography.

The model took to Twitter yesterday to insist that his book was not meant to put the football legend down, but merely to tell what it was like to have an alcoholic father.

However, his aunt Barbara McNarry has said that her brother would have felt "a great sense of betrayal" at what she called the nastiness of Calum's words in his book 'Second Best: My Dad and Me'.

The 34-year-old posted his remarks to his 300,000 Twitter followers yesterday as a response "to the Irish papers, my dad's sister and my feelings overall about my memoirs".

He said that he hoped his book would give his aunt and uncle fresh insight into some of the things that he experienced while growing up.

Calum wrote: "Everyone needs to understand that in doing this book it was not my intention to put my Dad down, as I love him more than anyone and his footballing legacy.

"However, I'm describing what my relationship was with an alcohol dependent parent and how it damaged us both."

Best goes on to say how much his book has resonated with other people who found themselves in similar situation and said: "It is my wish that it serves as a comfort as well as cautionary tale."

He called on his father's relatives - who, he says, "seemed to me that they didn't want to know me or have me involved in anything" - to read all of what he wrote in his autobiography.

"I urge my aunt and uncle to read it in it's (sic) entirety, not just experts, to fully understand."

Best added that the book "was not written overnight for some 'quick cash'" but had taken him three years to write.

His famous father's little sister, Barbara McNarry, said yesterday: "This has been a very painful experience for the entire family,

"We are not angry or bitter, we are just hurt and simply want to defend his father's memory. We are all very disappointed by all of what has been alleged about someone who had his flaws but is still admired and loved by many fans throughout the world."

One of the most disturbing incidents which Calum relates in his book centres on how his father apparently accused him and Best's second wife Alex of having an affair behind his back when he was just 14.

He claimed George swore repeatedly at him before shouting, "You're not my f***ing son'", and grabbing him by the neck.

Calum's Twitter followers were quick to jump to his defence, with one supporter posting: "Always hard when dealing with family - sometimes they only hear/see what they want to, without thinking of the bigger picture."

Profile

Belfast football maestro George Best has been hailed time and again as one of the world's greatest footballers. A gifted youngster who became a Manchester United legend, he was discovered by United's scout in Northern Ireland, whose famous telegram to Red Devils manager Matt Busby, "I think I've found you a genius", has gone down in football history. Bestie also won 37 caps for Northern Ireland, scoring nine goals. He died aged 59 in 2005 from multiple organ failure following a liver transplant necessitated by alcohol damage.

This wasn't written for quick cash: Calum's tweet

'I was hoping that this memoir may have opened my aunt and uncle's eyes to some things I went through. Because when my dad passed it seemed to me that they didn't want to know me or have me involved with anything.

'Everyone needs to understand that in doing this book it was not my intention to put my Dad down, as I love him more than anyone and love his footballing legacy. However, I'm describing what my relationship was with an alcohol dependant parent and how it damaged us both.

'There is a bigger picture to my story which has resonated with other kids that find themselves in similar circumstances and it is my wish that this serves as a comfort as well as a cautionary tale.

'I have had an overwhelmingly positive reaction from those young people for sharing my story and how it is helping them cope, knowing that they are not alone.

'I urge my aunt and uncle to read it in it's (sic) entirety, not just experts (sic), to fully understand. This book was not written overnight for some 'quick cash', It has taken three years.'

Belfast Telegraph

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph