I note that the beatification of George Best lasted all of 24 hours. One of today’s tabloid “newspapers” alleges that he had at least two “secret” children. Given his lifestyle, are we surprised? Does it matter? No, and no.
Meanwhile, the floral tributes pour in, and a Diana-like mountain of flowers, pictures, scarves etc grows outside Old Trafford. Toddlers whose parents were too young ever to have seen Best play are being pushed forward to add their teddy bear or posy. It’s nauseating.
Best was a great footballer – one of the all time greats. His death is sad, though hardly unexpected, and hardly otherwise remarkable. I wonder how many other fifty something alcoholics died the other day? Best’s memory was ill served at the end by the ghoulish bulletins from outside the hospital – Best not dead yet, Best still not dead – reminiscent of the rolling news coverage of the Pope’s death – and by the tacky souvenir pull-outs when he finally did succumb.
Who’s next for the maudlin flower show? We seem locked into a cycle of excessive public grief when a famous person dies, though unable as a society to sort out the misery and pain that surrounds us everywhere, and that we conveniently ignore.

CC BY-SA 4.0 Floral Tributes again by Dr Rob Spence is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.