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Old Trafford legend: George Best’s sister moved to tears by stage show

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Emotional: Barbara McNarry

Emotional: Barbara McNarry

Aidan O'Neill: He has George's cheeky smile, says Barbara

Aidan O'Neill: He has George's cheeky smile, says Barbara

George Best advertising Cookstown Sausages

George Best advertising Cookstown Sausages

George Best

George Best

George Best

George Best

<br /><b>George Best</b><br /> Regarded as one of the greatest footballers ever, Best inspired Manchester United to European Cup success in 1968, the first time an English club had won the big prize. The Belfast star was named European Footballer of the Year following United’s European triumph, ahead of team mate Bobby Charlton. Best had already been elevated to popstar status by that stage, due in part to a stunning display when he scored twice in a 5-1 win away to Benfica in 1966 which saw him dubbed 'El Beatle'. Although playing 37 times for Northern Ireland, the team never made it to the World Cup Finals denying him a place on the ultimate international stage. Best's life was blighted by alcoholism, he was the classic wayward genius. He died in November 2005, aged 59.

<br /><b>George Best</b><br /> Regarded as one of the greatest footballers ever, Best inspired Manchester United to European Cup success in 1968, the first time an English club had won the big prize. The Belfast star was named European Footballer of the Year following United’s European triumph, ahead of team mate Bobby Charlton. Best had already been elevated to popstar status by that stage, due in part to a stunning display when he scored twice in a 5-1 win away to Benfica in 1966 which saw him dubbed 'El Beatle'. Although playing 37 times for Northern Ireland, the team never made it to the World Cup Finals denying him a place on the ultimate international stage. Best's life was blighted by alcoholism, he was the classic wayward genius. He died in November 2005, aged 59.

Martin O'Neill at George Best's funeral

Martin O'Neill at George Best's funeral

Callum Best and mum Angie at George Best's funeral

Callum Best and mum Angie at George Best's funeral

George Best: Better than Messi?

George Best: Better than Messi?

&lt;b&gt;26 April, 1965: Manchester United 3-1 Arsenal&lt;/b&gt;
Busby's second great side claimed their first championship on a Monday night. Denis Law scored twice, George Best (pictured) the other and then the waiting began. Leeds, the only team who could halt United, were still playing against Birmingham. At Old Trafford the players waited on the pitch, the crowd waited too, then shortly after 9pm the result came through: 3-3. United were champions.

<b>26 April, 1965: Manchester United 3-1 Arsenal</b> Busby's second great side claimed their first championship on a Monday night. Denis Law scored twice, George Best (pictured) the other and then the waiting began. Leeds, the only team who could halt United, were still playing against Birmingham. At Old Trafford the players waited on the pitch, the crowd waited too, then shortly after 9pm the result came through: 3-3. United were champions.

Rodney Marsh at George Best's funeral

Rodney Marsh at George Best's funeral

Dennis Law (centre) at George Best's funeral

Dennis Law (centre) at George Best's funeral

One of the images from a collection of George Best memorabilia which has been found in a bedroom wardrobe at a house in Worsley, Greater Manchester.

One of the images from a collection of George Best memorabilia which has been found in a bedroom wardrobe at a house in Worsley, Greater Manchester.

Alex Higgans at George Best's funeral

Alex Higgans at George Best's funeral

Barry McGuigan and his wife at George Best's funeral

Barry McGuigan and his wife at George Best's funeral

One of the images from a collection of George Best memorabilia which has been found in a bedroom wardrobe at a house in Worsley, Greater Manchester.Mike Preston starred in an advert with the footballing legend

One of the images from a collection of George Best memorabilia which has been found in a bedroom wardrobe at a house in Worsley, Greater Manchester.Mike Preston starred in an advert with the footballing legend

Milan Manderic at George Best's funeral

Milan Manderic at George Best's funeral

Pat Jennings at George Best's funeral

Pat Jennings at George Best's funeral

Phil Taylor, George Best's agent and Jackie Fullerton at George Best's funeral

Phil Taylor, George Best's agent and Jackie Fullerton at George Best's funeral

One of the images from a collection of George Best memorabilia which has been found in a bedroom wardrobe at a house in Worsley, Greater Manchester.

One of the images from a collection of George Best memorabilia which has been found in a bedroom wardrobe at a house in Worsley, Greater Manchester.

George Best

George Best

Photopress Staff

George Best Belfast City is the fastest growing airport in the UK, new figures indicate.

George Best Belfast City is the fastest growing airport in the UK, new figures indicate.

Terry Neill at George Best's funeral

Terry Neill at George Best's funeral

Paddy Kielty and Gerry Armstrong at George Best's funeral

Paddy Kielty and Gerry Armstrong at George Best's funeral

George Best has a drink in a Belfast bar

George Best has a drink in a Belfast bar

George Best, during the Northern Ireland v England match in October 1966

George Best, during the Northern Ireland v England match in October 1966

Football legend George Best pictured in January 1964

Football legend George Best pictured in January 1964

Football legend George Best pictured in January 1964

Football legend George Best pictured in January 1964

Manchester United legend George Best

Manchester United legend George Best

Benfica's Goalkeeper Jose Henrique (left) races back to his goal in a vain attempt to stop George Best (right) of Manchester United from scoring his team's second goal in the the European Cup final at Wembley, 29th May 1968. United eventually won 4-3 after extra time.

Benfica's Goalkeeper Jose Henrique (left) races back to his goal in a vain attempt to stop George Best (right) of Manchester United from scoring his team's second goal in the the European Cup final at Wembley, 29th May 1968. United eventually won 4-3 after extra time.

George Best pictured with Pat Jennings

George Best pictured with Pat Jennings

Football legend George Best pictured at Windsor Park

Football legend George Best pictured at Windsor Park

George Best in training for Manchester United

George Best in training for Manchester United

Football legend George Best

Football legend George Best

George Best relaxes with a cup of coffee as he waits for the action in Bulgaria to begin

George Best relaxes with a cup of coffee as he waits for the action in Bulgaria to begin

Crowds gather at Stormont for the funeral of George Best

Crowds gather at Stormont for the funeral of George Best

Crowds gather at Stormont for the funeral of George Best

Crowds gather at Stormont for the funeral of George Best

Frank McLintock at George Best's funeral

Frank McLintock at George Best's funeral

Mike England at George Best's funeral

Mike England at George Best's funeral

George Best chats to Michael Parkinson

George Best chats to Michael Parkinson

George Best's coffin is carried up the steps to the Stormont buildings

George Best's coffin is carried up the steps to the Stormont buildings

&lt;b&gt;George Best&lt;/b&gt;&lt;br/&gt;
Manchester United hero George Best was known as much for his off-field antics as his moves on it. He once told interviewer Michael Parkinson that he had sex at half time whilst his heavy partying is considered the reason for his career tailing off. Best is also only one of two men known to have slept with at least two Miss Worlds. The glamour of this fact is somewhat tarnished when you realise the other man to have achieved this is Bruce Forsyth.

<b>George Best</b><br/> Manchester United hero George Best was known as much for his off-field antics as his moves on it. He once told interviewer Michael Parkinson that he had sex at half time whilst his heavy partying is considered the reason for his career tailing off. Best is also only one of two men known to have slept with at least two Miss Worlds. The glamour of this fact is somewhat tarnished when you realise the other man to have achieved this is Bruce Forsyth.

Some of the Best memorabilia up for grabs at Wilsons Auction house today. There are 110 lots of George Best memorabilia available, collected by Dickie Best over a period of 40 years.

Some of the Best memorabilia up for grabs at Wilsons Auction house today. There are 110 lots of George Best memorabilia available, collected by Dickie Best over a period of 40 years.

Some of the Best memorabilia up for grabs at Wilsons Auction house today. There are 110 lots of George Best memorabilia available, collected by Dickie Best over a period of 40 years.

Some of the Best memorabilia up for grabs at Wilsons Auction house today. There are 110 lots of George Best memorabilia available, collected by Dickie Best over a period of 40 years.

Best Fan - 7 year old Luke McMullan from Dungannon holding a replica European Champions Manchester United Trophy presented to Dickie Best when George Best died. There are 110 lots of George Best memorabilia available, collected by Dickie Best over a period of 40 years.

Best Fan - 7 year old Luke McMullan from Dungannon holding a replica European Champions Manchester United Trophy presented to Dickie Best when George Best died. There are 110 lots of George Best memorabilia available, collected by Dickie Best over a period of 40 years.

Some of the Best memorabilia up for grabs at Wilsons Auction house today. Pictured a silver Benfica letter opener, dated 1966, given to George which marks Man Utd's 5-1 European Cup defeat of Benfica in Lisbon. There are 110 lots of George Best memorabilia available, collected by Dickie Best over a period of 40 years

Some of the Best memorabilia up for grabs at Wilsons Auction house today. Pictured a silver Benfica letter opener, dated 1966, given to George which marks Man Utd's 5-1 European Cup defeat of Benfica in Lisbon. There are 110 lots of George Best memorabilia available, collected by Dickie Best over a period of 40 years

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Emotional: Barbara McNarry

A sister of footballing legend George Best has paid an emotional visit to rehearsals for a new musical about her superstar brother, which opens in Belfast in a fortnight’s time.

After seeing the full nine-strong cast for the first time, Barbara McNarry said: “It was extremely difficult for me to watch, especially as the actors brought not only George but my parents to life in front of me.”

In particular, actress Maria Connolly — who plays her mother Annie — moved Barbara to tears at the run through in a church hall in Belfast.

“She looked so like mum it was spooky,” said Barbara.

The new production Dancing Shoes by Belfast writers Martin Lynch and Marie Jones and |musicians JJ Gilmour and Pat Gribben is expected to be a sell-out at Belfast’s Grand Opera House before it tours to Britain.

It tells the story of the Manchester United and Northern Ireland footballing genius from his days as a 10-year-old on the streets of Belfast until his death in November 2005.

Ms McNarry said: “I think they have done an amazing job and they have still another two weeks of rehearsals to go. I think the cast are all extremely strong but the young actor Aidan O’Neill has got George off to a tee.

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“He has his cheeky smile, and his brilliant sense of humour is captured to perfection.

“Some of the scenes were particularly powerful, especially the one where my mother and father took George to the boat for his first visit to Old Trafford.

“It was all so accurate. I remember my mother was distraught after seeing George off and she never left him to a boat or an airport again.

“The only time she went back to see a member of the family off was when I was going to South Africa, and within a week my mum had died. So it was all quite moving for me,” she added.

Dancing Shoes opens at the Grand Opera House on July 28. Full details at www.goh.co.uk.


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