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George Best receives his award from Denis Law
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BBC NI's Denise Watson reports on the Sports Awards
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Tuesday, 5 December, 2000, 11:57 GMT
Dunlop and Best are honoured
Joey Dunlop's family accepted his award
Joey Dunlop's family accepted his award
Two of Northern Ireland's greatest sporting heroes have been honoured at a sports award ceremony.

Motorcycling legend Joey Dunlop posthumously received the Belfast Telegraph Sports Star of the Year award.

And footballer George Best was given the Hall of Fame award.

Five-times world champion Dunlop died in a racing accident in Estonia in July.

He won a record 26 races at the Isle of Man TT, fully justifying his nickname 'King of the Road'.

In July an estimated 50,000 people - including friends, biking enthusiasts and fans - attended his funeral near Ballymoney, County Antrim.

George Best
George Best given Hall of Fame award

George Best is recognised as one of the greatest footballers the world has ever seen.

He made his Manchester United debut in 1963 and was named European footballer of the year in 1968 after helping Matt Busby's United become the first English club to win the European Cup.

Best won 37 caps for Northern Ireland between 1964 and 1978.

"The playing side of my career was fantastic, I played with some great players," said Best, who received his award from former United team-mate Denis Law.

"There was a lot of bad publicity along the way which you find in sport.

"But I think in the end, when you see the special people who are here and what they have achieved, people forget about all that rubbish - I certainly do."

Other award winners included -

BBC award: David Healy, Manchester United footballer who scored five goals for Northern Ireland in seven games during 2000.

Player of the year: Graeme McDowell, Irish Close golf champion and member of Walker Cup squad.

Young player: Andrew Bree, Olympic Games swimmer.

Disability sportsperson: Mary Rice, paralympics 400m silver medallist.

Team of the year: Linfield FC, Irish League champions.

Services to sport: Ken Reid, rugby union.

Special achievement: Ray Cochrane (flat racing); Margaret Johnston, Jeremy Henry (outdoor bowls); Crossmaglen Rangers (gaelic football); Darren Clarke (golf).

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See also:

05 Nov 00 |  Northern Ireland
Dunlop given posthumous award
25 Oct 00 |  Northern Ireland
Dunlop wins man of the year award
10 Mar 00 |  Football
George Best: Victim of stardom
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