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Last Updated: Saturday, 3 December 2005, 14:37 GMT
Mourners remember life of legend
The funeral of George Best saw a series of moving eulogies from those who knew the football legend during his colourful life.


"What mere mortal could do what he did on a pitch. Today we celebrate his life.

"In a country that often cannot rise above religion and politics, George Best did more than most to bring us together as people to make us recognise that may be there is more that unites us than divides us.

George Best tributes
Fans' tributes to George Best
"He belonged to us all and today, more than ever, we want to show the world how delighted we are that he came from a country of just one-and-a-half million people and became the best footballer the world has ever seen.

"George, we mourn your life cut short, but we are proud to welcome you home."


"They were the best of times and the worst of times. You know, that perhaps aptly describes so many of our lives and it certainly was no different as regards George.

"I often think perhaps that those who criticised him with his illness would perhaps, rather than criticise, be better saying 'there go I, but for the grace of God'".


Best's son read a poem by Julie McClelland:

Calum Best

"Farewell our friend, but not goodbye. Your time has come, your soul must fly. To dance with angels, find the sun, but how we'll miss our special one.

He walks among us just a while, weaved your magic, made us smile. Your life was so full of light and tears, we lived it through you, through the years.

"The golden days, they went so fast. The precious times, why can't they last? So many loved you, did you know? We were not ready to let you go.

"The stars from Heaven are only lent. A gift from God, that's why they're sent. We won't forget our Belfast boy, he filled our lives with so much joy. Your star will shine now in the sky. Farewell our friend, but not goodbye."


"Today the world is saying goodbye to Dr George Best, superstar, superhero.

Today I am saying goodbye to GB, super brother, my hero.

"My love and respect for you, GB, was unconditional and simple

"I will always cherish the memories of the many happy times that I was privileged to share with you".


"Doctors are said never to get too close to their patients. It's not that easy when the patient is somebody like George Best. Hi Prof, Hi George, that's how it was.

"I think he got too well with the transplant and the temptations of life overtook him again and then it was the beginning of the end".


"I think, to be successful and to do something good you have got to be a fighter, and that is what he had.

"That was shown in abundance over these last few weeks."

He also said: "I remember one time when he let me down badly I got the raving needle and I thought the following morning I am going to go down and give him a right load of...well, you know, whatever.

"I got changed in the morning, got dressed and went downstairs. I knew where he'd be.

"There he was sitting in the bar with a cheeky little smile on his face and a glass in his hand. I do not know if it was water or not.

"Before I could say anything, he said 'hey Law Man, I have just ordered you a nice pot of tea' - he knew I was a sucker for tea, so that was it."


Mr McAlinden said he shared the same birthday as Best, the 22 May, 1946, and that he would miss a phonecall from George on that day next year.

"I'll not get that call next May, sadly."

"But I've got my memories, they're all great, they're all good memories and nobody had a friend as good as George Best to me.

"And I'll never forget him, like everybody else."

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