Belfast (Northern Ireland): The three-match one-day series between India and South Africa has generated renewed interest in the game in Northern Ireland. But as CNN-IBN's Alokananda Sen Awasthi found out, football legend George Best still remains larger than life even after his untimely death. And his father has embarked on a philanthropic mission of a different kind.
For a father who carried his son's hearse, life may hold little meaning. His son finally lies in peace at the Roselawn Cemetry in Belfast, 27 years after his mother, too, had died similarly. But for 88-year-old Dickie Best, life has started yet again. Son George succumbed to alcohol addiction, but was passionate about raising funds for liver research. And so Dickie heads the George Best Foundation, determined to save many others from ending up in the same way.
"There are so many different people who want to contribute to the foundation, because it's not just a matter of George Best, but also to help some handicapped kids," says Dickie Best, father of the deceased George.
Dickie Best has lived in the same modest terraced house in the same working-class estate inside Burnway for the past 50 years. He raised six children, one of whom happened to be the most famous Northern Irishman in history and one of the greatest footballers the world has ever known. With his good looks, impeccable style and women falling at his feet, George Best's rockstar lifestyle quickly overtook his career as a footballer. And ultimately the alcohol and wild nights spent partying would shorten his career, and his life too.
He might have met with a tragic end, but even today, he lives in the heart of millions of fans across the world.
"This is the way life goes. Nobody is perfect, everybody makes mistakes in life," Dickie Best adds.
They took away his boy on December 4, 2005 to his final destination. The pipers still breathe the lament, but Dickie knows he's got his hands full.
For his Belfast boy, his fragile, flawed genius of a son who is now gone but who keeps his father alive.
(With inputs from Sanjeeb Mukherjea in New Delhi)