Saturday’s order of events

Gates at Stormont open at 9. First 32,000 to arrive will get in. The rest will have to line the streets. The BBC reports there are up to 200 people working on the arrangements.

  • Pete Baker

    Hmm.. There seems to be a slight disagreement among certain media outlets as to whether Pele will be in attendance.. personally I’d go with the report which has the quote from his agent

  • Its good to see local Loyalists are doing their bit to help

  • Pete Baker

    Yeah, FYU.. I was particularly taken by this quote in the UTV report on that news, attributed to a senior representative of the UVF –

    “We know the world`s media will be there on Saturday and we don`t want Belfast or Northern Ireland to be portrayed as moronic.”

  • Comrade Stalin

    It’s funny how they’re happy to have the place portrayed as moronic on the occasions when George Best isn’t being buried.

  • Murderer:
    “We are not people with horns, we are ordinary guys,” the UVF chief said.

    He’ll be meeting something with horns on judgement day.

    “We know the world`s media will be there on Saturday and we don`t want Belfast or Northern Ireland to be portrayed as moronic.”

    Does this mean they are admitting these rags are moronic? At last.

  • Jo

    “He’ll be meeting something with horns on judgement day.”


  • Baldrick

    Much as I admire George as a sportsman, am I the only one thinks that the funeral seems wildly OTT?

    The use of Stormont is likely to be bl**dy expensive and whether Castlereagh rate payers are getting screwed or all of us (central Govt picking up the tab?) there is also the issue of precedent.

    At the end of the day George isn’t the best of role models to be holding up to our kids. Piss away a fabulous talent, live the playboy dream, ruin two good livers. Yeah, he did it his way, but while some tribute to George “the player” is in order “a state funeral” seems rather at odds with the way he chose to live his life. (And to his credit he never had any airs or graces about himself nor offered any real excuses for his less pleasant actions.) So again what’s the fuss about?

    I think George would have been well pleased with the tribute of a lot of folks standing along the funeral route to pay their personal tribute to him.

    On the other hand, it seems that certain councillors, who are generally quick to criticise anyone else’s waste of public funds, have embraced this as their opportunity to be big players in a “Diana” moment. Surely even within NI’s limited gene pool we have a more worthy “Royal” to mourn in this way?

    I wonder whether the same councillors will be as supportive when snooker fans want Alex Higgins to get “the full Monty” at a great cost to the public purse.

    Or what their views will be when SF decides that to test the “equal respect” agenda in some restored Assembly,(I know, I am that eternal optimist) , that some noteable GAA sportsman should get to lie in state in Stormont’s Great Hall.

    (personally, I don’t have any issue with either of the above other than the fact that I don’t see why my taxes/rates should be flushed down the pan in this way)

    Unfortunately Saturday will set a hugely expensive (and already some speculation suggests a six figure sum) precedent that anyone can ask to follow.

    Anyone want to offer a couple of counter-arguments?

  • bog warrior

    My favourite Best story was one told by Irvine Welsh in his book Glue. It was set in the early 80s and recounted a riot at a Rangers v Hibs match. Its a very graphic account of football violence and very well told but apparently there had been serious violence before the game and the atmospehere inside Easter Road was pure poison. Best was at the end of his career and playing for Hibs when close to the Rangers end someone threw a wine bottle at him and it fell a few feet away. Best picked the bottle up and pretended to drink from it. As Welsh recounts the whole atmosphere changed because everyone in the ground went into a kink of laughter. His point was that commentators and media castigate footballers for winding up supporters but this was one case when a player defused major tensions at a match and didn’t get the credit for it.

  • Paul

    I’m a Utd fan and remember George Best in his prime. An incredible football player but this funeral, indeed the whole reaction to his death, has been way OTT. The Mirror was speculating 500000 coming to his funeral, ie the entire population of Greater Belfast, just short of the turnout for Winston Churchill. They are off their heads. People loved George as a footballer and that affection has carried him through many tawdry episodes. I’m sure people will want him to have a good send off and anyone in the vicinity would pay their respects but I think the media will be disappointed if they are expecting the spectacle of mass crowds.