Tributes pour in for football legend Best

London, November 26:

Tributes poured in for football legend George Best, who died at the age of 59 on Friday after losing his long battle against alcoholism. The former Manchester United and Northern Ireland winger had multiple organ failure after developing a lung infection that led to internal bleeding. England legend Sir Bobby Charlton, who played alongside Best at United in the 1960s, said: “Anyone that witnessed what George could do on the pitch wished they could do the same. He made an immense contribution to the game, and enriched the lives of everyone that saw him play. Football has lost one of its greats, and I have lost a dear friend.” British PM Tony Blair said: “We all know George Best was one of the most naturally gifted footballers of his generation. Our thoughts and sympathies are with his family.”

Ranked alongside Pele and Diego Maradona as one of the great figures in the beautiful game, Best was regarded as the first “pop-star” footballer, but his party-going lifestyle finally caught up with him. His family made an emotional statement, read out by Best’s sister Barbara McNarry. “As you can imagine this is a very difficult time so you will understand if we are a bit emotional,” she said. Best’s son Calum, 24, said: “Not only have I lost my dad but we’ve all lost a wonderful man.” The player’s father Dickie, 87, meanwhile appealed to the media to let the family grieve in peace. Friends and admirers paid emotional tributes to Best as fans left flowers, scarves, team shirts and farewell messages.