George Best not only thrilled the world with his wonderful football skills but also brought glamour to 1960s football and his sex appeal earned him the tag of the “Fifth Beatle”. On the field he had no weakness: George could dribble, tackle, head the ball, score goals; in short he could do things that others could only dream about. He was unique in that he was perfectly balanced, could use both feet, was very quick and possessed an excellent football brain. To this day he stands head and shoulders above most of the rest, and could arguably be said to have been the world’s best footballer. In Northern Ireland the saying goes “Maradonna good, Pele better, George BEST”.
George aged two and half, his fifteen month old sister Carol and their parents Ann and Dickie moved into this house at 16 Burren Way in the Cregagh Estate in January, 1949. The Cregagh housing estate was brand new and the houses were greatly sought after as they included a bathroom. 16 Burren Way was the first house on the estate to be completed and making the Best family the first occupants.
George lived here until he moved to Manchester to play for the world renowned team Manchester United. At the height of George’s career the house was often under siege by the press and the family had to sit with the blinds closed on many occasions to try to get some privacy. Often, the press would camp out all night to get a glimpse or try to get the children to give them some news.
George would come home to Burren Way throughout his footballing career and beyond. He had four sisters and one brother but the family never all lived in the house at the same time.
It was from this house, at his own request, that George’s final journey took place on December 2005, to be laid to rest beside his mother in Roselawn Cemetery. The garden and hedges around the house were covered in flowers, shirts, cups, scarves, flags and pictures, left there by his fans from all over the world. In April 2008, 59 years after moving into the house, George’s Dad Dickie also left for the final time to be laid to rest with his wife and son.
To find out more about George Best's childhood in Belfast you can download for FREE The George Best Trail.