HAVE YOU ever wondered why so many Ulstermen – and women – of a certain age are fervent Manchester United supporters? The simple answer is George Best. At a time when our Troubles were raging furiously he was the one beacon of hope for many of our folk. He was the Belfast Boy. He was the best versus the rest. He gave a sense of pride to so many folk that younger people find hard to comprehend. That’s why so many tens of thousands paid tribute to him - on Saturday 3rd December 2005 – as his coffin was brought to the Great Hall in Stormont. He didn’t realise it but many people loved him, despite his many self-admitted failings.
Given this atmosphere, it was truly distressing to read columnist Joan Burnie’s piece in the Daily Record. On the day before he was laid to rest, this nasty harpie mocked all those who mourned George Best with the words “We’ve still got the State funeral tomorrow at Stormont where no doubt yet more extravagant praise and plaudits will be rained down on Best’s head. Hundreds of thousands are expected to attend. As the song says, send in the clowns”. Of George, she said, “The only important event which mattered last Friday was that an alcoholic waster finally did the Best thing and died”.
Nasty Miss Burnie has the right to say what she thinks, of course. So too have the people of Northern Ireland for whom she shows nothing but contempt. We can vote with our wallets and stop taking the Daily Record in favour of a proper newspaper.