15 March 2006

Football legend's image in clouds


The soccer star's father, Dickie, unveiled the image

There was a unique flying tribute to the late George Best in the skies above Belfast as airline Flybe named one of its aircraft in his honour.

His father, Dickie, four sisters, brother and son attended the launch at Belfast City Airport on Wednesday.

The Q400 aircraft has a picture of George Best in his Manchester United strip and will fly between Belfast and Manchester.

The soccer legend died last November after suffering organ failure.

His son Calum described the last few months as an emotional roller coaster.

"It is quite surreal seeing my father on the side of a plane," he said.

"He was a modest man but I am sure he would have approved.

"It is a fitting tribute as it connects the city where he was born and the city where his legacy started."

Dickie Best said the family had no hesitation in backing the tribute.

"The life size image of George on the side of the plane in his trademark red strip and characteristic footballing stance is a wonderful tribute and I reckon if George could be with us today he would be quite taken with the idea of kicking a ball at 30,000 feet," he said.

Mr Best said the aircraft would also provide a boost for the George Best Foundation which will be launched in May.

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