Inside George Best’s childhood home, where visitors can spend the night in Belfast
IN 1961, a 15-year-old football fanatic left his home on the Cregagh Estate in east Belfast to pursue his dreams in Manchester.
it was not just any child. It was George Best, and those football dreams electrified fans not only at Old Trafford, but all over the world.
Sixty years later, fans can travel back in time by visiting the star’s childhood home at 16 Burren Way, thanks to a new “60s-style” visitor experience.
The house has been retro-renovated to look what it would have been in 1961, and visitors can leaf through old school reports, see family and football photos, and even sleep in Best’s bedroom.
That’s right – the house is available for overnight stays on georgebesthouse.com or airbnb.fr from around £ 129 / € 152 per night including costs.
Purchased from the Best family in 2011, the home has been preserved by the EastSide Partnership regeneration charity and renovated in partnership with EastSide Tourism and with funding from Tourism NI’s Visitor Experience Development Grant.
Overnight stays have been available since 2011, but in the coming weeks EastSide Tourism will announce details of a new audio tour developed in partnership with Best’s sister Barbara McNarry “for day visitors to enjoy.” .
Best was selected 37 times for Northern Ireland and went on to become one of football’s first celebrities (he was nicknamed “the Fifth Beatle”) before his death in 2005 at the age of 59. Three years earlier he had undergone a liver transplant as a result of a long and public battle with alcoholism.
Best’s parents, Ann and Dickie, first moved into the house in January 1949 – Cregagh’s estate was new and his homes “much sought after because they included a bathroom,” according to the GeorgeBestHouse.com website.
“At the height of George’s career, the house was often under siege by the press and the family had to sit with the blinds closed several times to try and have some privacy,” he adds. .
“This is a once in a lifetime experience for fans of George Best,” said Chris Armstrong of EastSide Tourism, adding that the renovation “would take visitors back to the ’60s at a very special and important time in George’s life.”
“This will add to the range and quality of visitor experiences in East Belfast and meet the growing demand for local and authentic tourism offers,” said Caroline Bell, Funding Manager at Tourism NI.
A George Best Trail can also be followed in East Belfast.