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Spirit of George Best lives on in new terrace chant by Manchester United fans

By David Young

Published 26/05/2015

Manchester United fans have come up with a new chant for George Best
Manchester United fans have come up with a new chant for George Best

Manchester United fans have come up with a cheeky chant that pays tribute to late footballing hero George Best.

Fans loudly proclaimed from the terraces that the Belfast Boy who battled the bottle and charmed the ladies would be their drinking partner of choice in the afterlife.

The spontaneous outpouring of affection was belted out to the tune of Norman Greenbaum's 1969 classic hit Spirit In The Sky at last week's lacklustre 0-0 draw with Hull City.

The Red Devils fans sang:

"Going up to the Spirit In The Sky,

"That's where I'm gonna go when I die,

"When I die and they lay me to rest,

"I'm gonna go on the p*** with Georgie Best."

The parody tribute had its first run-out during a match against Arsenal two weeks ago, and has already received the endorsement of Best's son Calum. He posted a video on Twitter of fans bawling it out at a pub near Manchester United's Old Trafford stadium, and described the 30-second long clip of fans singing the song as "brilliant".

Fan Hannah Morrison tweeted: "The George Best chant by the Manchester United fans is absolutely brilliant.They are loving that today. Calum Best must be so proud."

In comments below YouTube recordings of the chant, fans expressed how the song appealed to their sense of fun. Nut'n'Case wrote: "Love it! I swear, United fans come up with the best chants! So catchy."

Even rivals were impressed. Steven Stepney wrote: "I'm an Arsenal fan and I can't get this outta my head! Everyone I know, supporters of all clubs, are singing this."

And BreakingBrad added: "George Best would be proud. Well done to the United fans."

Mark Dexter wrote: "United fans have a reputation for being 'plastic' or non passionate but anyone who knows their footy chants would acknowledge that the United chants are the original and that other clubs have 'borrowed' it and have their different versions.

"No doubt this tune will be borrowed as well."

One of the stewards at the game against Hull said he was on the door letting the United fans in and they were chanting the song.

"I couldn't help myself and joined in," he admitted.

East Belfast-born soccer superstar Best would have turned 69 last week had he not succumbed to liver disease in 2005 after battling alcoholism for decades.

Spirit In The Sky has been covered by bands as diverse as punk pop girl group Fuzzbox, goth band Bauhaus, psychedelic rockers Doctor And The Medics and even Pop Idol runner-up Gareth Gates.

The chant in tribute to Best can be heard on YouTube by searching for "Spirit in the Sky George Best chant".

Belfast Telegraph

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