Best stable but critical on life support - 20 November, 2005 - News

Soccer great George Best remains hospitalized in a critical but stable condition on life support, according to his agent on Sunday.

Best, who needed a liver transplant three years ago after years of alcohol abuse, is at the Cromwell Hospital in west London where he has been for six weeks receiving treatment for a series of infections.

"There has been no change in George's condition overnight. He is still stable," Best's agent, Phil Hughes, told reporters.

The 59-year-old former Manchester United star appeared to be improving until Thursday night. Doctors had stopped the internal bleeding that left him close to death three weeks ago, but he was sitting up and talking to friends and family until his latest relapse, which was a lung infection.

"He is stable but remains critical," hospital spokesman Jeffrey Brandon said Saturday night. "They have been able to withdraw one of the medicines he was on but he still remains critical."

Regarded as one the most talented players of all time until his retirement at age 26, Best was renowned for his standout dribbling skills and memorable goals and helped Manchester United win the European Cup in 1968.

Best's career was marred by his wayward lifestyle _ his womanizing led to a divorce from his second wife, Alex, a year ago _ and he continued to drink heavily after his liver transplant, AP reported. V.A.

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