BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: UK  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
England
N Ireland
Scotland
Wales
Politics
Education
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Tuesday, 30 July, 2002, 17:42 GMT 18:42 UK
Liver transplant for George Best
George Best on Parkinson
George Best was ordered off alcohol two years ago
Football legend and recovering alcoholic George Best is undergoing a liver transplant in London's Cromwell Hospital.

The former Manchester United and Northern Ireland star went into theatre on Tuesday morning.


This is very good news but there is still a worrying wait ahead

Agent Phil Hughes

Best was called at home at 0600BST and surgeons began operating four hours later.

At 1830 Best's consultant Professor Roger Williams said: "George Best is still in theatre - it's been a difficult operation but reasonable progress is being made."

His wife Alex is with him at the hospital.

Best, who had been waiting for a donor, had just returned from holiday in Malta.

Waiting over

In his column in the Mail on Sunday over the weekend, the 56-year-old wrote: "We have been a bit naughty, because I should be stuck at home waiting for a call telling me the transplant is on and to high tail it to the hospital.

"But I have been waiting for almost eight months now and have cancelled holiday after holiday."

His agent Phil Hughes told BBC News Online that he had seen Best at the hospital ahead of the operation.

"He was absolutely fine," he said.

He said the former footballer was not getting any worse but also was not getting any better.

"This is very good news but there is still a worrying wait ahead."

In December Best was told he needed a transplant following medical confirmation that his liver was only functioning at 20%.

Mr Williams, who is director of the Institute of Hepatology at University College London, said then that the conditions were right for the operation to go ahead.

History of illness

At the time he said: "A liver transplant is very much a routine procedure although it is a very big procedure.

"It is done very widely when the indications are there medically and the results on the whole are terrific".

Earlier that month he had been admitted to hospital in Limassol, Cyprus suffering from a fever and a gastrointestinal tract infection.

The star underwent extensive treatment for liver damage at the Cromwell Hospital two years ago.

He was warned then that if he ever drank again it could kill him.

And in February last year Best, who now works as a sports commentator, was treated at Belfast City Hospital for pneumonia.

Best has battled with drink all his life, getting arrested in 1984 for drink-driving and assaulting a police officer.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Duncan Kennedy
"In recent years the ravages of drink had prematurely aged the former footballing genius"
Liver transplant expert Professor Peter Friend
"A liver transplant is a very complex operation"
Former team-mate Alex Stepney
"I hope he will look forward to a new life"
George Best

Best's liver transplant

Background

Your best wishes
See also:

25 Jan 00 | N Ireland
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more UK stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more UK stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes