Page last updated at 11:54 GMT, Monday, 18 August 2008 12:54 UK

Best's childhood home up for sale

By Nuala McCann
BBC News

Back garden - George Best
Theatre of dreams... the back garden where George Best first kicked a ball

It is the house where a football legend kicked off his story.

Whoever buys Number 16 Burren Way, Cregagh, will score a home that housed a legend.

Manchester Utd football star George Best spent his childhood in this east Belfast house which is to go up for sale on Tuesday.

Prospective buyers can trace his footsteps from the street and the old back garden where he first kicked ball to the back bedroom where, as a teenager, lying on his bed, he could scarcely have dreamt up the future that lay ahead.

It was to be a future of brilliant football and high living. He became known as "the fifth Beatle" - he sparkled on the field and lived a glitzy life off it as well.

The ultimate laddish tale that Best told himself was of the night when a waiter delivering champagne to Best's hotel room saw thousands of pounds of casino winnings and the current Miss World both arranged tastefully on the bed.

The scene prompted the legendary question: "Mr Best, where did it all go wrong?"

Best, 59, was buried beside his mother Ann
George Best is remembered as a footballing genius

"I spent 90% of my money on women, drink and fast cars. The rest I wasted," Best was often quoted as saying.

He died in 2005, aged 59, after suffering multiple organ failure

George Best lived at Number 16 until fame beckoned at the age of just 15. He shared the mid-terrace with his parents, Anne and Dickie and five brothers and sisters.

His sister, Carol MacPherson said: "When we were very little, George and I used to share a bedroom.

"As we got older, he was given the room all to himself and after he left, it was used by other family members but was always vacated when George returned home to visit. It was always known as 'George's room' and our mum never let us forget that."

A plaque unveiled at the house commemorates the footballer.

Best's father, Dickie, died in April. His mother died several years ago.

Carol said: "Everyone is sad to see the house go. It was a very happy home and my father lived there for nearly 60 years."

The sale was one of the stipulations of her father's will, she said.

16 Burren Way is on the market for offers of about 165,000. Anyone interested should contact Templeton Robinson, 326 Newtownards Road, Belfast.




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