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Last Updated: Sunday, 27 November 2005, 17:51 GMT
Man Utd fans lead Best tributes
Manchester United fans led another day of tributes to George Best as they joined in a minute's applause with West Ham supporters at Upton Park.

West Ham legend Trevor Brooking and Manchester United director Sir Bobby Charlton spoke on the pitch in tribute to Best before the kick-off.

Everton and Newcastle fans - along with supporters at the game between Fulham and Bolton - also applauded.

There was a minute's silence before Middlesbrough's game with West Brom.

At Goodison Park, the song "Belfast Boy" played over the tannoy as loud applause rang out in honour of Best before Everton's 1-0 win against Newcastle.

Best died aged 59 on Friday, and there were poignant scenes at Craven Cottage and Easter Road, where Best had played for both Fulham and Hibernian.

At Easter Road, the planned minute's silence became a spontaneous applause and some Hibs fants chanted: "There's only one George Best."

The Premier League had asked referees to conduct a minute's silence before all games this weekend, but the idea of applauding the football legend has proved popular.

On Saturday, crowds fell silent at 1500 GMT to honour one of the country's greatest ever players.

But Celtic and Wolves, who Best supported as a boy, were two of the clubs who opted to have applause in tribute to the Northern Ireland legend.

A Celtic spokesperson said: "George Best was universally recognised as a player with a unique footballing talent and we feel it is appropriate to hold a minute's applause."

However, a minority of Liverpool and Leeds fans failed to observe the silence and the tribute had to be cut short.

At the City of Manchester Stadium in the game between Liverpool and Manchester City both sets of fans applauded as Best's name was read out.

But some fans of United's bitter rivals Liverpool disturbed the minute's silence, which did not last the full 60 seconds.

Referee Alan Wiley followed Premier League instruction in cutting the silence down to barely 20 seconds once it became obvious a minority of the visiting supporters were not going to respect it.

The conduct of some of their fans earned jeers from the City fans and their manager Rafael Benitez admitted it was disappointing.

"It is a pity," said Benitez. "It was only a few people and most of them did applaud but it is a pity, you can't say anything else."

City boss Stuart Pearce added: "I have no idea which group of supporters it was but the vast majority paid tribute to a legend of the game who gave a lot of pleasure to a lot of people and that is the important thing.

"You have to look at the positives rather than dwell of the actions of a handful of people in a crowd of 47,000."

It was a similar scene at Millwall's New Den where a section of the Leeds fans also led to the tribute being cut short.

Leeds boss Kevin Blackwell said: "They are magnificent fans, but a few people let us down and we are all disappointed.

"It was the minority and it's always the minority that ruins society in this country I'm afraid and it's about time that we stood up to that."

Since his death, fans have been gathering at United's Old Trafford stadium to pay their own respects, laying flowers, shirts and written tributes by the statue of Sir Matt Busby, the manager when Best helped the side to the European Cup in 1968.

People in Belfast continued to honour their home town hero with queues building up outside Belfast City Hall to sign books of condolence opened by the Lord Mayor.

Floral tributes also continued to pile up outside the Best family home in the Cregagh area of the city, where his father continues to live.


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