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Last Updated: Saturday, 20 May 2006, 16:27 GMT 17:27 UK
Tribute day remembers legend Best
Julia Nixon and Best mural in Cregagh
Julia Nixon said the image of her brother watched the estate
Hundreds of people have taken part in a celebration of the life of football legend George Best in the Cregagh estate in Castlereagh.

The highlight was the unveiling of a mural depicting a young Best, replacing a paramilitary image, overlooking the fields where he played as a boy.

George's sister, Julia Nixon, said it had been wonderful to drive in and see the mural.

"It's lovely to see George in effect watching over the estate," she said.

The DUP Mayor of Castlereagh, Tommy Jeffers, said that it was an appropriate tribute from the legend's home area.

"It means George Best is being honoured in the way he should be honoured," he said.

"This mural is dedicated to him and with the paramilitary mural being removed and George put in its place this is a big step forward for Cregagh, and of course all of Northern Ireland."

The tribute day got off to a rousing start with music from a local band near the Best family home.

Best mural scene
The footballers of tomorrow watched the unveiling

Local Northern Ireland league footballers, assembly members and some of Best's family were there to remember the footballing star.

Bouncy castles, face painting and football were the order of the day at the celebration.

On Monday, on what would have been Best's 60th birthday, Belfast City Airport will be renamed in his honour.

However, Saturday's event was for family, friends and neighbours to pay tribute to the soccer legend.

Airline Flybe has named one of its aircraft in honour of George Best.

The aircraft has a picture of him in his Manchester United strip and flies between Belfast and Manchester.

The airport renaming move follows a similar decision to rename Liverpool Airport after one of the city's most famous sons, John Lennon, in 2002.

The exact title of the airport will be announced at the ceremony on 22 May.

Best died in hospital at the age of 59 in November 2005 after suffering multiple organ failure.

The ex-Manchester United and Northern Ireland star was buried in Belfast beside his mother, Ann.


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