November 2005


Well I started the day off with the left over pizza from last night. Had the Chinees for lunch thank God. Tasha was having pizza for dinner. I couldn’t look at it. I went for the ol veggie burger. George will have his funeral on Saturday back home and buried next to his mammy Ann. It will be one of the biggest funerals Ireland will have ever seen. Not bad for an old drunk.

Pele to attend Best funeral

It has been confirmed that Brazilian football legend Pele will attend George Best’s funeral at Stormont on Saturday.

There will be a family service at Best`s family home in Burren Way in Belfast, after which the coffin will be transported to Stormont grounds by a police escort via Cregagh Road, the Knock Dual Carriageway, and the Upper Newtownards Road.

The hearse will enter the Stormont grounds at the main gates. It will then proceed along the Prince of Wales Avenue to the Parliament Building.

There will be a commemorative service in the Great Hall that will be attended by approximately 300 family, friends and dignitaries.

The Service will be relayed via ‘big screen’ and loud speakers to an expected audience in the grounds of the Stormont Estate, which will be limited to 30,000 people.

After the service the funeral procession will proceed back down the Prince of Wales avenue and makes its way to the cemetery at Roselawn where a private burial will take place, via the Upper Newtownards Road, the Knock Dual Carriageway and the Ballygown Road.

The funeral arrangements will be coordinated by Castlereagh Borough Council and involve the: Best family, a number of Government Agencies, Wonderland Promotions, the PSNI and St.John’s Ambulance / the Red Cross.

The Mayor of Castlereagh, Councillor Tommy Jeffers said:‘I had the fortunate pleasure of meeting with George Best a few years ago and found him to be an absolute gentleman.

“He will be sadly missed by all in Northern Ireland and across the world. A true football legend. I am sure many will want to come and pay their last respects to George on Saturday.

“On behalf of Castlereagh Borough Council I would like to pass out condolences to the Best Family at this difficult time.”

I never knew Hugh Hefner was turning 80 in April next year. I have eaten 4 meals of pizza in 2 days so far this week. I better cut back.

Grouted the tile I put in last week at Aboulafia.

Today we sander and caulked in the bedroom downstairs. It was nice to have the last 4 days off with 3 of them spent doing nothing but eating in Roslyn. It was like a vacation really. I am looking forward to heading out the door to work tomorrow. Next break will be for Christmas.

Woke up on and off during the night. The snow was blizzarding down outside. I watched the news report for the pass. With the snow and one lane freeway it would be a very slow journey back home. I walked around in the snow for a while. I looked at the first house partly finished in the new development down the road. We ate a breakfast. Tasha and I then headed off for a bit of 4 wheeling in the snow. We drove up past Ronald and went off the road on a couple of forest roads. On the way back we stopped off at an open house.It was a one bedroom newly built cabin in a development. A tiny place been sold by a guy called Larry. He built it in fact. On entering the place it looked good. Everything new, nice appliances and all that but it was small. The asking price was $270’000. Too much for where it was. We drove back to the house. We packed up the Jeep and left for THE PASS. It took us 4 minutes longer than normal to get home. The pass me arse.

We left the house and headed down town. The snow was everywhere. We took a blast of photo’s hoping to find one for a Christmas card picture. Came back to the house and ate again. Full to the brim. We rented some movies. They were ok. Slept on the couch later on in the night as I couldn’t find sleep after eating Pumpkin pie and ice-cream.

Woke up at 5:09 am. As I was sleeping sound at 4:55am my time George Best’s last breath left his body. The long struggle was over for him. He will be remembered around the world.

FRIDAY 25/11/2005
Football genius George Best loses ‘valiant’ fight for life

Football genius George Best finally lost his battle for life today at the age of 59.The man hailed by many as the most magical player of all time will be buried in his native Belfast beside his mother Ann.

Best`s prodigious talent drew the affection and awe of millions of fans and tributes to him poured in from across the football world tonight.

Friends said he should be remembered for inspiring an entire generation of players in the 1960s and 1970s and for being a kind and generous man.

The former Manchester United, Fulham and Northern Ireland star, who was a long term alcoholic, slipped away at 12.55pm after suffering multiple organ failure.

After keeping a long bedside vigil his family looked emotionally shattered as they emerged from the Cromwell Hospital in west London.

His tearful son Calum, 24, said: “Not only have I lost my dad but we`ve all lost a wonderful man.”

Speaking on behalf of the family Best`s sister Barbara McNarry had to pause and collect herself as she thanked the “thousands and thousands” of well-wishers who sent cards and emails.

She said: “We have taken great comfort from them, especially during the long hours.”

Agent Phil Hughes, who was with Best in good times and bad for more than 25 years, broke down in floods of tears.

“He has gone somewhere now where no one can hurt him any more. He is safe now,” Mr Hughes said.

Denis Law, Best`s former Manchester United team-mate was also at the hospital as his life came to a close.

Law said his old friend`s condition was so bad towards the end that death had ultimately been a “blessing”.

Best`s second wife, Alex, who divorced him for adultery in April last year, issued a heartfelt statement in which she said he was the “love of my life”.

She said: “He was a unique and talented person who made a lot of people very happy. I will always miss him.”

Best, who underwent a controversial liver transplant in 2002 after subjecting his own to years of alcohol abuse, amazed doctors by fighting on as long as he did.

His consultant Professor Roger Williams, who had become a good friend, said he had had a strong heart but there had been no way back.

Best was admitted to hospital on October 1 suffering from a flu-like infection but deteriorated rapidly when he developed a kidney infection.

He rallied and was thought to be improving until the early hours of Friday last week when he suffered a severe setback, developing a lung infection and being put on a ventilator in intensive care.

He was still conscious at that point but then deteriorated further, and terminally, on Wednesday night.

Shortly after his death a hospital spokesman confirmed: “After a long and very valiant fight Mr George Best has just died this afternoon.”

Floral tributes piled up outside the hospital along with Manchester United supporters` scarves.

A message on one bunch of flowers read: “Dear George, Thanks for giving me so much joy, you were my hero as a child and as an adult. You will never be forgotten.”

British Prime Minister Tony Blair led the tributes from high profile figures.

He said: “I obviously watched a lot of the television footage of him and remember some of the games he played in at the time. Anyone who has seen it and is a football fan will never forget it.”

Irish Taoiseach Bertie Ahern said: “George was one of my great sporting heroes, He was quite simply, a football genius.”

To an entire generation of footballers Belfast-born Best was an idol as they grew up.

Former Irish international and Liverpool player Ray Houghton said: “I used to go out and play with the locals and think I was George Best, trying to take on everyone, beat everyone, because that was the type of player he was.”

England legend Paul Gascoigne said of Best: “George was a player and a half. He was just phenomenal.”

Former Arsenal goalkeeper Bob Wilson said: “He was a lovely guy. I don`t know how he remained as humble as he did in the world in which he lived, which was the goldfish bowl. He had stardust on him, absolute stardust.”

Irish musician and anti-poverty campaigner Bob Geldof said: “George Best was a pop star. He was the first pop star footballer, the prototype for all the boys we know about today.

“Except that he did not know what he was doing. He was just this gorgeous young, talented kid and he got a lot of money every week, and could not deal with it.”

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