I have the TV playing in the background showing live pictures from the Cregagh Estate as the funeral procession of George Best prepares to pass through thousands of mourners to Stormont. Already in scenes reminiscent of Diana flowers are being thrown from the masses unto the hearse in what is the biggest funeral in Northern Irish history.
The location of the funeral
service is somewhere I used to walk to during my lunch breaks from one
of the government departments just off the estate. It's at the top of a
mile long wide avenue that leads up to Parliament Buildings and will
undoubtedly provide exception pictures of crowds later on today as the
masses stand either side of Prince of Wales Avenue watching the service
on big screens.
Best marks a period of Northern Ireland
football history where the fans did not care which side of the
community the players came from, it was a form of escapism. Sadly for
the last few years Neil Lennon has been hounded out of the Northern
Ireland team by sectarianism. Best debuted alongside Pat Jennings, two
young lads from different sides of the community who both enter the
hearts of al football fans in the province.
It is a
shame that in relative peace the national football team has become a
target of sectarianism, while at the heights of the troubles it was one
thing we could agree upon, largely.