Belfast Telegraph

Calum Best: Dad's alcoholism drove me to drink and drugs

By Joanne Sweeney

George Best's son Calum has claimed that his famous father's battle with drink drove him to drugs and alcohol as a teenager.

The model said that he spiralled into a year-long bout of drug-taking after his footballer father screamed in a drunken rage that he hated him and claimed Calum wasn't his son.

The revelations are made in the Calum's new book, Second Best: My Dad and Me, which tells of his early life growing up as the son of the former Manchester United star.

Best, the only son of George Best and his first wife Angie, claims that he was left at Stringfellow's nightclub on his own at the age of 15 when his father failed to show up for his exclusive 50th birthday party.

In the second extract of the book published in the Daily Mail, he writes: "Peter is disappointed, but even so, he says to me,'Son, treat this place like your own,' and hands me a wad of the cash they use in there. I look up and there are two dancers right by me. There's lobster and chips on the table, plenty of drinks and I have money to spend."

He goes on to say that Stringfellow was upset when he learned he was only 15.

The teenager, who was born in California, writes of how he took drugs with his father

while visiting him in London. Despite his Belfast father being against drugs, he says: "We buy drugs and hang out ... during the day, and go to clubs at night. In previous summers, the fact that Dad seemed to be pushing me away had left me devastated. But now I'm having too much fun to care. I don't pick up on the similarity between what dad and I are doing. He's drinking all day, I'm smoking weed all day. He's drunk most of the time, I'm stoned most of the time."

George Best, who was idolised by millions of football fans across the world, was said by his son to have been "sober for just a handful of weeks of my life".

Calum also revealed he enjoyed four days of family bonding on a villa holiday after his father's controversial liver transplant. But within days, he witnesses George, who later died of organ failure in 2005, drinking wine.

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