By Richard Beale ……
One of the greatest footballers of all time could have been a “love child” of a Turkish Cypriot man and a Greek Cypriot woman.
No you could be forgiven that you thought you were reading a headline from the “SUNDAY SPORT”, but I came across this when trawling the internet. With the Local Football season now closed, I was thinking what could I write about to fill some space up on the Sports pages. Maybe there are some sporting connections between the TRNC and the UK, then I came across these headlines.
The claims came to light in December 2015, by local journalist Serhat Incirli of the KIBRIS newspaper.
He claims “according to reliable sources” that Best was the child of a Turkish Cypriot man from Lefke and a 16 year old girl from Limassol. Neither one of the young couple’s family wanted a marriage, so they sent the girl to the UK, where she gave birth. The baby boy was adopted by an Irish family in 1946.
Apparently on George Best’s Birth Certificate he was born on May 22nd 1946 in Belfast, his parents were listed as Richard and Annie Best. Best was registered as Ronald Samuel Best, but a further entry on the Birth Certificate showed his name changed to George Best, without any explanation.
When interviewed by the DAILY MAIL, the only surviving member of the footballer’s family Norman McNary, husband of Best’s sister Barbara said “ he was unaware why the name was changed, only Best’s deceased parents knew the reason why“.
McNary went on to say “It’s a grey area as far as we are concerned. We can only assume that it was a misprint or that a mistake had been made and later rectified. Maybe the Registrar of Births got it slightly wrong and changed it after Barbara’s Dad pointed it out and said he was called George”.
The claims about Best being adopted have always been dismissed by the family.
The KIBRIS article also mentioned that Best’s “alleged biological father passed away and was from a well known family in Lefke”. It also says that Best “has been to Lefke to visit him and liked to holiday in Cyprus in the 60s and 70s.
In 2001, Best was rushed to a Private Clinic while on holiday in Limassol with a stomach virus.
In 1971 in Belfast, Best scored his only International hat trick against Cyprus!
George Best was a Manchester United football legend, and won 37 caps for Northern Ireland. He was the first “celebrity” footballer and was nicknamed “El Beatle” in 1966. His extravagant and lavish lifestyle led to various problems, notably with alcohol.
Best died in 2005 at the age of 59 from multiple organ failure.
If the claims were true imagine George Best representing the TRNC or Cyprus, wow, what a thought!
Sources : Serhat Incirli Kibris Gazetesi.
Evie Andreou- Cyprus Mail.
Feature photo : hubpages.com