04 December 2005

Fans flock to soccer star's grave

BBC

**Many live links onsite to audio and visual resources on Best's life and death


Fans visit Best's grave to pay their respects

Fans of George Best have been visiting his grave to pay their respects to the Belfast-born soccer legend.

Staff at Roselawn Cemetery moved in overnight to lay special paths to allow people to view the grave and the hundreds of wreaths and momentoes.

Areas nearby were roped-off to prevent the public from trampling on neighbouring graves.

Among the stars who sent tributes were Elton John, Van Morrison, Mickey Rourke, Susan George and Anita Harris.

Flowers were also sent by the Prime Minster Tony Blair, the Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern, and the Duke of York.

Hundreds of people turned up at Parliament Buildings at Stormont on Sunday to watch as workmen dismantled the staging erected for Saturday's world-wide media coverage of George Best's funeral.

Best died earlier this month in London's Cromwell Hospital, several weeks after being admitted with flu-like symptoms on 1 October.


Some of the hundreds of wreaths and floral tributes at Best's grave

The 59-year-old former footballer was buried beside his mother Ann at the cemetery in the Castlereagh hills on the outskirts of east Belfast.

Best's former wives Angie and Alex, along with his last partner, Ros Hollidge, attended the funeral.

Some of the biggest names in football also attended, including his lifelong friend Denis Law and Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson.

The police said an estimated 75,000 to 100,000 were on the streets and at Stormont for the funeral.

The service in the Great Hall was relayed via big screen and loudspeakers to the crowd in the grounds outside.


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