LATEST: Soccer legend George Best's family have expressed their grief after the star died of multiple organ failure earlier today (25NOV05).

The former Northern Ireland and Manchester United star's loved ones insist the deluge of public support helped them cope during his alcohol-induced illness.

Best's sister BARBARA McNARRY says, "As you can imagine, this is a very difficult time, so you will understand if we are a bit emotional.

"I would like to say on behalf of the family a huge thank you to everyone who has supported George and us through this traumatic time.

"To the thousands upon thousands of people who have sent cards and emails, we have taken great comfort from them, particularly during the long hours."