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Elton Remembers George
Posted by editor_usa

Plans Underway For Soccer Star’s Burial

Thursday 1
December 2005 @ 20:14
– GMT

According to The Times, Sir Elton has already sent a wreath for George Best’s funeral this weekend.

 England manager Sven Goran Eriksson is to head up the international guest list in Belfast Saturday, but Elton, a lifelong friend, isn’t expected to attend the service at Parliament Buildings, Stormont.

Those who will attend include Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson, flying in on a private jet with a party of eight, which includes chief executive David Gill.

Bests body will be flown to his home city of Belfast on Friday, accompanied by Phil Hughes, Best’s agent and friend.

First there will be a private funeral service at the Best family home on the Cregagh estate in east Belfast on Saturday morning. Then the coffin will be taken in a three-mile cortege to Stormont for the public ceremony.

Police have made preparations to cope with up to half a million people lining the route, although the crowd inside the Stormont estate will be restricted to just over 30,000 because of health and safety fears.

Up to 200 additional security staff will be on duty, with crash barriers erected around waterlogged grass slopes leading up to the assembly buildings in a bid to prevent overcrowding and injuries in the freezing conditions forecast , as Bests coffin is carried up the 60 steps into Parliament Buildings.

It will rest on a trestle at the bottom of a staircase beneath a statue of Lord Craigavon, Northern Irelands first Prime Minister whose grave is located just yards away.

Best’s son Callum will be among those paying personal tribute in a ceremony at the Great Hall.

New details of the arrangements emerged as thousands of Man Utd fans prepared to pay tribute to their hero at Old Trafford tonight during the clubs Carling Cup match against West Brom.

Denis Law, a team mate in the 1968 European Cup-winning side who remained close to Best ever since, is also expected to give a reading to VIP guests.

A choir drawn from Grosvenor Grammar School, where the star attended, and Methodist College, Belfast, will sing during the ceremony, which is to be led by television celebrity Eamon Holmes.