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Last Updated: Tuesday, 30 January 2007, 07:11 GMT
Healy's Best statue grand gesture
george best
A statue of George Best is to be made
Northern Ireland's star striker David Healy has donated a personal cheque of 1,000 towards a statue of the football legend George Best.

Healy is patron of the George Best Memorial Trust and he has urged Northern Ireland football fans to dig in to support the project.

It is estimated that 200,000 is needed for the statue.

Healy said if all NI and Man Utd fans contributed a couple of pounds each, that target would be easily reached.

"This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to provide a lasting memorial for George and I am delighted to help in whatever way I can," the Leeds Utd striker said.

"A small donation of a couple of pounds each from all Northern Ireland and Manchester United supporters would see the target amount being reached without too much difficulty.

"However, I would imagine that those wanting to commemorate George will reach much wider and I am sure football fans everywhere will be anxious to lend their support to show their affection for George who, in my opinion, was the greatest footballer the world has seen."

David Healy
David Healy has contributed 1,000 to the statue fund

Best, described by Brazilian football legend Pele as the best player he had ever seen, died in November 2005 from multiple organ failure in a London hospital following a well-documented battle with alcoholism.

A sculptor is expected to be chosen by April and there are plans to unveil the statue by the time of the second anniversary of Best's death in November.

The statue will be located temporarily at the front of Belfast City Hall before finding a permanent home in the city centre.

The location is to be decided as part of the Department for Social Development's public realm plans for around the city centre, which is expected to start in 2010.

Last November, the Ulster Bank printed commemorative 5 notes bearing Best's image.

The memorial trust fund was launched in December and the public are being asked to contribute at any branch of the Ulster Bank: or on the website: account number: 00145409; sort code: 98-00-60.

Further information on the trust is available online at georgebesttrust.com

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