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Pic of the week: A tribute to George, our shining star

By Kerry McKittrick

Old Trafford was lit up by thousands of mobile phones on Wednesday to mark the 10th anniversary of the death of one of football's most beloved players.

In tribute to George Best, fans at Old Trafford also unfurled a banner sporting the message 'Georgie ... Simply The Best' during the Champions League match against PSV Eindhoven.

The display took place in the seventh minute of the game to signify the No 7 shirt frequently worn by the footballing legend during his time at United.

Best died from multiple organ failure on November 25, 2005, but he will always be remembered for his football.

The greatest player Northern Ireland has ever seen was born and raised in east Belfast before he took the boat to England as a teenager to try out for United. He made his debut for the club aged just 17.

During his career, he represented Northern Ireland 37 times, winning the European Cup once and the English Championship twice while at United. During his 11 years with the club he scored 179 goals.

Best left Old Trafford aged 27 and, having played for several smaller clubs, retired at 37.

George's talent on the football field was often eclipsed by his alcoholism and the scandals that accompanied his drinking.

He appeared drunk and swearing on live television and, in 1984, he received a three-month prison sentence for drink-driving. He married twice, divorced twice and had a son, Calum.

The drink started to take a heavy toll and Best was given a liver transplant in 2002. Two years later he received another drink-driving conviction and was banned from driving for 20 months. He continued to drink until his death, aged 59.

Best was considered one of the legends of football - even during his own lifetime. After his death, tributes flooded in from all over the globe and Belfast's City Airport was renamed after him.

Some 100,000 mourners lined the route of his funeral cortege.

His life and death may have been controversial, but since the 1970s he has been considered one of, if not the, greatest footballers of the 20th century.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph