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Thursday, 11 May, 2000, 09:36 GMT 10:36 UK
Best tells of life without alcohol
George Best
George Best: Walks his dog instead of visiting pub
Football legend George Best has told of his struggle to adapt to a new life without alcohol.

The former Manchester United and Northern Ireland hero said he had not wavered in his pledge to give up drinking since he was rushed to hospital for treatment in February.

There are a lot of good things in life, so why spoil it all by having a drink?

George Best
Best, 53, spent five weeks being treated for his liver condition brought on by alcoholism.

He said: "In the past, I gave up for some time - a year, a couple of months at a time but at the back of your mind there was always a thought, `I'll get better, I'll have a couple of drinks' - and then a couple becomes a couple more.

"But this time I don't have a choice, I cannot think that there is a possibility if and when my liver recovers totally," he told GMTV.

"It is just not on - I just can't do it. You have to just sit down and think there are a lot of good things in life, so why spoil it all by having a drink?"

early Best
Best indulged in alcohol, women and late nights in his youth

Best told GMTV he had become "a bit of a boring so-and-so", choosing to walk his new Irish setter instead of visiting the pub.

He also paid tribute to the thousands of letters of support he has received from the public since his serious illness was revealed.

When he came out of hospital last month, he made a televised pledge that he would never drink again.

He said then that he had finally faced up to his addiction to drink, which he likened to being addicted to drugs.

The hospital treatment had been the lowest point of his life - and he ought to have been dead, he admitted.

The London premiere of Best, the film about his life in which he is portrayed by actor John Lynch, is having its premiere screened in on Thursday.

He said it had been "weird" to see himself portrayed on screen.

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See also:

01 May 00 | Northern Ireland
Best film kicks off with celebrity show
13 Apr 00 | Football
Best sent home to convalesce
10 Mar 00 | Football
Victim of soccer stardom
12 Oct 98 | Football
Football's drink problem
10 Mar 00 | Football
George Best: Victim of stardom
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