The late George Best may be Norn Iron’s answer to Princess Diana, but the commemorations seem to have been slacking off of late. It would appear that the broad masses are beginning to get Bestie fatigue.
I refer of course to the mooted plan to put up a statue of Bestie in the grounds of City Hall, which was supposed to be going up next month for the second anniversary of the great man’s death. This would follow on from George Best Airport, the George Best five pound notes, the George Best Fabergé egg, the commemorative plaques and literally tons of Bestie kitsch available to the punter who is that way inclined. And that’s before we even get to the rumours you hear floating around of ambitious plans to turn the Cregagh estate into a George Best theme park.
But the populace have fallen through on the statue. Of a target of £80,000 to be raised by public subscription, only £2000 has been raised to date. This really doesn’t speak well of the fitba-loving masses, who are all in favour of Bestie memorials unless it means sparing a few shillings for their hero. Next thing you know, they’ll be expecting Edwin Poots and the Stormont Executive to step into the breach.
And where’s the big populist campaign? This is surely a perfect opportunity for a few cheap headlines. Where are Stephen Nolan and Eamonn McCann when you need them?