| -1.2°C Dublin

Calum Best to open pub chain in father's memory

PLAYBOY Calum Best, the son of tragic footballer George Best, plans to open a controversial themed pub in Dublin dedicated to the memory of his father who died of alcoholism.

'Bestie's Bar', which will open in the New Year, will feature memorabilia including a collection of medals and trophies awarded to the footballing genius from Belfast.

Calum Best, ex-boyfriend of model Georgia Salpa, is in talks to front the new venue, which will be based in Dublin city centre, and also hopes to spread the franchise to Belfast and Manchester.

The opening of the chain of pubs will be the subject of a television documentary by production company Straywave Media, and is likely to cause controversy among George's family -- in particular his sister Barbara, who set up The George Best Foundation to help people struggling with alcohol abuse following the footballer's death.

But as a source close to the project explains, Calum is keen on giving fans a place dedicated to the footballer's memory.

"Calum has been in talks about opening the pub, which he feels would be great for fans to come and celebrate his life. There are two big financial backers behind it and now they're just looking for the best location," said the source.

"Of course a lot of people will wonder why it won't be in his hometown of Belfast but we felt Dublin was the best place to start and his son Calum currently spends so much time here that he's been able to devote a lot of time to it.

"We're hoping to get in lots of memorabilia -- jerseys worn by Best, pictures of the sportsman with other well- known football stars, trophies and medals. It will be a shrine to the legend himself."

George Best made his debut for Manchester United in 1963, but despite his breathtaking skills he lasted a mere six years at the top, before self-destructing into alcoholism and bankruptcy.

Sunday Independent