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Last Updated: Tuesday, 4 October 2005, 12:30 GMT 13:30 UK
Unwell star Best 'feeling better'
George Best
George Best received a liver transplant in 2002
Football legend George Best is "feeling better", his agent has said.

Phil Hughes said the former Manchester United star's condition had improved but he will remain in intensive care.

Best, 59, was admitted to the Cromwell Hospital, in London, last week with flu-like symptoms and developed a kidney infection on Saturday.

His long-term doctor said prescribed drugs needed after his 2002 liver transplant, rather than alcohol abuse, are the cause of his current illness.

Mr Hughes said Best had been "off the drink" before being admitted to the hospital.

March 2000: Severe liver damage diagnosed
February 2001: Treated for pneumonia
April 2001: Anti-alcohol pellets implanted into his stomach
July 2002: Undergoes liver transplant
November 2004: Routine operation to check on liver transplant
October 2005: Treated for kidney infection in intensive care

"He doesn't want to be an alcoholic," he added.

"He wants to thank everybody who has sent him well wishes. He's grateful for the support and understands the criticism."

Professor Roger Williams, the doctor in charge of Best's long-term care, said he had become more susceptible to infections after a course of medication to suppress the immune system and prevent his body rejecting the new liver.

He also said he hoped the former Northern Ireland international could beat his drinking problems.

"He can do it - he did it before, get off the alcohol," he told GMTV.

"He has had long spells when he does not drink."

Best, whose transplant operation was paid for privately using a liver supplied through the NHS, is expected to spend at least a week at the private hospital after being moved from intensive care.

Apart from Mr Hughes, the ex-footballer's son Calum has visited him, and his sister Barbara is travelling from Northern Ireland to see him.

See Calum Best comment on his father's condition

Best 'healthy' after liver test
23 Nov 04 |  Northern Ireland
Best banned for drink driving
02 Feb 04 |  England

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