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Last Updated: Saturday, 3 December 2005, 12:59 GMT
Crowds mourn Best in adopted city
Crowd watches George Best funeral
Hundreds of shoppers and fans gathered in Manchester
Hundreds of people braved the rain in the centre of Manchester on Saturday to pay their respects to the city's famous adopted son, George Best.

Christmas shoppers and fans of both the city's football clubs stood in Exchange Square to watch the Stormont funeral.

The service was also screened at the National Football Museum in Preston, where a book of condolence was opened.

Mourners were also able to light candles to remember the Manchester United star at Manchester Cathedral.

A framed photo of the Northern Ireland legend was placed under the BBC screen for the service on Saturday.

I'm only 23 so I never got to see George play, but he will always be a legend for Man United fans of any age
David Jones, Manchester United fan

Christine Richardson, 43, from Old Trafford, wept as she watched his son Calum Best speak at the funeral.

"That young man is so brave, standing up in front of all those people on a day like this," she said.

"Manchester is in mourning, Northern Ireland is in mourning, but it's George's family who my heart really goes out to today.

"He was a great man, this city worshipped him and he will never be forgotten."

Manchester United fan David Jones, 23, said he had come to the screening because he wanted to be part of the "historic" occasion.

He said: "I'm only 23 so I never got to see George play, but he will always be a legend for Man United fans of any age.

"I know there will be a lot of people from Manchester who have flown over to Belfast this weekend but those of us who couldn't make it are remembering him here, in our own way."

Stormont scenes

Fans of the football legend could leave personal tributes at the National Football Museum, which will be housed in the museum's collections in Preston as a lasting memory.

Manchester United had approached the BBC to screen the funeral in Exchange Square as it would be difficult to show it live at Old Trafford on a match day.

Best, who had been ill with a serious lung infection, died in a London hospital last week.

Thousands of people lined the streets of Belfast for his funeral at a special service at Stormont.


SEE ALSO:
Best funeral set for big screen
30 Nov 05 |  Manchester


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