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Legend Best 'steadily improving'

George Best remains in intensive care but is making "slow but steady improvement," according to his doctor.

The former Manchester United star was better than two days ago when internal bleeding caused serious concerns, Professor Roger Williams said.

He emphasized that 59-year-old football legend, was "very desperately ill" and would remain in intensive care at the Cromwell Hospital in west London.

However, he said the internal bleeding had lessened overnight.

"It was a major factor, and therefore our concern is less with one major factor apparently...a lot better."

He said it could be several days before it was clear whether Best was going to recover having spent a month in hospital already.

"People as ill as this when they are in [intensive care], it's a slow process whether they are going to make it.

"It does look as if he is making it but I wouldn't go any further than that," Professor Williams said.


He said Best's current problems were not related to his liver, which he had transplanted in 2002.

"His liver is holding up really well and is good compared to all the other things that have gone on recently."

His agent Phil Hughes said it was "not good" to see Best in such a condition.

"The doctors all along have been positive and strong for George. It's good news today."

News of his condition has prompted a flood of current and former football figures to voice their support and concern for the ex-footballer.

Sir Alex Ferguson, Manchester United's current manager, said "everyone at the club is praying for him".

"We hope he pulls through this recent dip in his health," said Sir Alex, adding that Best was one of the best British footballers of all time.

Ex-Manchester United colleague Denis Law visited his former team-mate in hospital on Friday and told reporters his friend was "not good, but he is fighting".

Best was arguably the most naturally gifted British footballer of his generation.

He made his professional debut for Manchester United in 1963, aged 17, and helped the club become the first English side to lift the European Cup, in 1968.

He was voted both English and European Footballer of the Year that season and also won 37 caps for Northern Ireland.
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