02/02/2004

Best banned from driving for 20 months

Former Northern Ireland and Manchester United footballer George Best has been banned from driving for 20 months after pleading guilty to a charge of drink driving.

Best, 57, appeared at Wimbledon Magistrates' court this morning following his arrest in Merton, south west London, shortly after midnight on Friday. The ex-Northern Ireland international, from West Ewell, Surrey, was found to have been two and a half times over the legal limit when he was stopped.

In addition to the driving ban, Best was fined £1,500 and ordered to pay costs of £55.

The court told Best that his behaviour was "irresponsible and unacceptable".

Best agreed to attend drink-driving rehabilitation lessons which, if completed, could see his ban reduced by five months.

Following years of alcoholism, the double league cup winner and 1968 European player of the year received a life-saving liver transplant in 2002.

He is estranged from his wife Alex who is currently appearing on ITV1's 'I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here!'.

(gmcg)

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