A George Best superfan from south Wales has revealed that she pays an emotional journey to Belfast every year to lay birthday flowers on the grave of her idol.
Linda Galeozzie (60) has also spoken of her plans to convert part of her new home into a "George Best suite" filled with memorabilia associated with the Manchester United and Northern Ireland hero.
She admitted that she has been obsessed with the Cregagh-born legend for half-a-century - even though she never saw him play.
"There was no one quite like George, as a footballer and as a person," said Linda, who was in the crowd at the unveiling of a statue to the player outside Olympia Leisure Centre near Windsor Park on what would have been his 73rd birthday earlier this week.
"It was tremendous to see him being honoured at last," she added.
She went to Roselawn Cemetery after the ceremony to pay her respects to George, as she always does, by leaving seven red roses.
Linda's fascination kicked off in 1968 when she watched on television as George inspired Man United to their famous 4-1 European Cup Final win over Benfica at Wembley.
Sitting alongside the then 11-year-old was her late father Hugh Mooney, who hailed from Londonderry.
She said she fell in love with George in a heartbeat and immediately joined a fan club for the Old Trafford maestro.
Down the years her affection for George grew and she turned her bedroom into a shrine for the wayward genius, who died in 2005 after losing a battle against alcoholism.
Linda spent years gathering together a vast array of Best posters, badges and even a number 7 shirt worn by him, but her collection eventually got too big for the space she had.
Now, however, she is moving home and will be utilising an extra bedroom to house all of her cherished Best gems, including wrappers from a range of bubble gum that bore his name and picture.
"My old house was full up but now I am putting everything together in a room I am calling the George Best suite," said Linda, who didn't get to meet the man of her dreams until 1993, when he and maverick former England international Rodney Marsh went to Cardiff to appear together in a chat show.
She said: "After it was over the two of them were signing autographs and I got George's.
"Even though there was pressure on him to leave, George refused to go until he had met every one of his fans in the line-up. That was the measure of the man."
She met George again at book signings in 2001 and 2004.
"And he remembered me," added a chuffed Linda, who recalled how George once made a fuss of a homeless man who had queued up to shake his hand, even though he couldn't afford the book.
She prayed for George after he received a new liver and during the worst of his illness.
After his death she paid a pilgrimage to Old Trafford and attended his "never to be forgotten" funeral at Stormont and a memorial service at Manchester Cathedral.
Linda is just one of a number of devoted fans of George who regularly pay homage to him at Roselawn.
Last Wednesday, after the unveiling, they went together to his grave, where among the bunches of flowers alongside Linda's were two-dozen roses with a simple message attached thanking George "for the football"
A framed photograph of a young George was accompanied by the words from the song You Raise Me Up - sung by Brian Kennedy at the footballer's funeral.
On the eve of the unveiling of the statue in Belfast, Linda was a guest of the Best family at a special party in Eddie Spence's fish and chip shop on the Beersbridge Road, one of George's favourite haunts.
Thirty close friends and relatives were treated to a fish supper and ice cream delivered to the chippie from Desano's shop on the Newtownards Road.
"George would have loved it," said a friend.
Best’s ex gives her verdict on statue
Angie Best has given her verdict on the controversial new statue of her late husband George.
Writing on Facebook, the former model and Playboy bunny, who was the Belfast football legend’s first wife, said: “Oh dear, should have gone to Specsavers. Poor George.”
Angie (66), who now lives in the USA, married George Best in 1978.