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Last Updated: Saturday, 19 November 2005, 19:55 GMT
Best continues his fight for life
George Best
George Best, back in intensive care
Former football star George Best remains on a life-support machine as he fights for his life.

Doctors at the Cromwell Hospital in west London said the 59-year-old was stable but unconscious in the intensive care unit.

"He's stable but remains critical. He is still on the life-support machine," said a hospital spokesman.

The spokesman added that Best was suffering from a lung infection, and that his condition was "serious".

Dr Akeel Alisa, assistant to Professor Roger Williams, who has been treating Best, said they were doing everything they could to help the former footballer who has had a well-documented problem with alcohol.

"We are following all medical avenues to try to keep him stable. He is ventilated so he is not conscious," added Dr Alisa.

As he left the hospital on Saturday, Dr Alisa said Best was still severely ill and remained critical.

Best's family including his son, Calum, father, sisters and brothers have visited the football legend.

Best's brother, Ian, returned to the hospital later to join his sisters at the former footballer's bedside.

"I want to say that my dad is very ill at the moment but he is stable," said Calum Best.

"I would like to thank all the well-wishers, it really means a lot to me and the family. He is stable so hopefully he is going to get better."

Best, who had a liver transplant in 2002, had previously shown signs of recovery after weeks of illness.

The former Manchester United and Northern Ireland player was admitted to the hospital on 1 October suffering from flu-like infections.

His health deteriorated rapidly at the beginning of November when he developed a kidney infection.

But his condition was thought to be improving until Friday when Professor Williams announced he had suffered a "big setback" and had developed a severe lung infection.

Belfast-born Best was arguably the most naturally gifted British footballer of his generation.

He made his professional debut for Manchester United in 1963, aged 17, and helped the club become the first English side to lift the European Cup in 1968.

Best was voted both English League and European Footballer of the Year that season and also won 37 international caps for Northern Ireland.




BBC NEWS: VIDEO AND AUDIO
Calum Best speaks about his father's condition



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