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Football legend George Best was “horrified” to have fellow hellraiser Alex ‘Hurricane’ Higgins visit him in hospital when he was sick with his alcohol addiction – because he “couldn’t stand” the snooker star.
Best – who was just 59 when he died in 2005 after losing his battle with the bottle – had a liver transplant in 2002.
And while he was in hospital fellow Northern Ireland sports star Higgins popped in – and predicted he would live for many years to come.
Sports writer John Laverty, who addresses the subject in new book Malcolm Brodie And Me , said: “He was recovering from the transplant and the next thing he knew was that The Hurricane had breezed into the ward.
“He never had time for him, he couldn’t stand him at all. He thought he was a braggart.
“He couldn’t understand why Higgy had decided to come in and see him.
“George was polite to him because he was brought up always being polite to everybody, but even with him lying in bed, Higgy made it all about himself.
“He asked George how he was – then quickly got on to talking about himself.
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“Then he offered to read George’s palm. He took Bestie’s hand and he said: ‘Don’t worry George, I see a really long timeline here.’
“And of course Bestie was dead within a couple of years.”
Manchester United legend George – often considered one of the greatest British players of all time – hated that fans put him a Higgins in the same bracket, because they were both from Belfast and both liked a drink.
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John, executive editor of the Belfast Telegraph , added: “What used to annoy him was people putting him and Higgy in the same bracket.
“As in they’re both hellraisers – he thought, well I might have been a bit of a hellraiser, but I was a polite hellraiser rather than Higgy.
“Higgy was genius level on his day – but as a person?
“Bestie had no time for him, he didn’t like being compared to him with the fallen genius type thing – he didn’t like that at all.”
- Manchester United FC
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