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Shining light Northern Ireland football legend George Best remembered on 70th birthday

By Linda Stewart

An east Belfast bridge was lit up in red last night on what would have been the 70th birthday of footballing legend George Best.

The Sam Thompson Bridge, which spans the Connswater River from Victoria Park to the gates of the Shorts factory, was lit up in the colour of Manchester United, Best's first club.

Yesterday his son Calum led tributes to the late Belfast-born footballing superstar. Calum tweeted that he still missed his father every day.

He said: "Happy birthday to my old man on what would have been his 70th.

"Miss you everyday. RIP Bestie. Thanks for all messages."

Best, who won the European Cup with United in 1968, was born in Belfast on May 22, 1946.

He was discovered by Sir Matt Busby and was a key figure in the Old Trafford club's history, helping it to two league titles and the European Cup win in 1968.

That same year he was named the European Footballer of the Year and Football Writers' Association Footballer of the Year.

Best died in November 2005 after a battle with alcoholism and was buried in his home city.

There was a celebrity-packed funeral service at Parliament Buildings, Stormont.

The Irish Football Association described him as the "greatest player to ever pull on the green shirt of Northern Ireland".

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