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Want to stay in George Best's childhood home?

The house that George Best grew up in is after being turned into a holiday home in Belfast.

16 Burren Way
16 Burren Way
Image: Google Streetview

VISITORS TO BELFAST can now stay in unusual self-catered accommodation – the house where George Best grew up.

The house, which is located at 16 Burren Way in East Belfast, was the Best family’s home. They were its only occupants and the last person to live there was Best’s father Dickie, who passed away aged 88 in 2008.  George Best died in 2005 aged 59.

The aim of the move is to preserve the house where the famous footballer grew up, while also enabling people to stay there.

Accommodation

Maurice Kinkead, chief executive of East Belfast Partnership, a regeneration agency in the city that bought the house, told TheJournal.ie:

We are making it part of the self-catering holiday accommodation here in Belfast.

The small, terraced three-bedroom house will be “particularly interesting” to people who are interested in football and Best’s career, said Kinkead. He added that it is located in “a very nice wee estate” in East Belfast.

Upgraded

The house has been upgraded to meet certain standards for holiday accommodation, with new beds and a new television being put in.

However the living room has been left “virtually untouched, basically”, said Kinkead. The house would be “how George last remembered it before he died”, with the same suite in the living room, where they have “touched virtually nothing”.

Upstairs, George Best’s old bedroom has been retro furbished right back to what it might have been like when he was a teenager, before he moved to Manchester.

He was a Wolverhampton Wanderers fan, so we have a Wolves kit there. We also have an annual that a boy of 15 would have been reading, and a transistor radio. We have posters – Spartacus was a big film at the time. We’ve tried to recreate what it might have been like.

Family

Best’s family have been very involved with the refurbishment of the house and supportive of the move, said Kinkead, who described the changes as “sensitive”.

The house has all the mod cons, but keeps its authentic feel. This includes about 50 never-before-seen photos the family have donated to go on show in the house.

They include an early picture of Best taken in the home, where he is standing in the garden with ball, and the last picture ever taken of him with his father.

The house was bought a year ago, although it went onto the market in 2008.

“When we first bought it we weren’t sure what we would do with it,” said Kinkead.

We didn’t want it getting sold and history disappearing. We spoke to the family. We had a number of options - some people wanted us to have a George Best museum but we didn’t think it was sustainable. This is a quiet little estate and I don’t think neighbours were looking forward to coachloads of football supporters.
We think this is much more manageable; we think it is more sustainable in that we think we have done our figures right and even if we got 40 per cent usage it is self-financing.

The house can be booked through the website georgebesthouse.com, which goes live today.

Read: George Best musical kicks off in Dublin>

Read: Son threatens court action over aunt’s plan to sell George Best memorabilia>

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