George Best

A decade after the death of football legend, and famous boozer, George Best Channel 5 are to investigate his last day alive in Autopsy: The Last Hours of George Best.

“George had told his doctors that in the months leading up to his admission he had been drinking heavily. The alcohol had clouded his judgement and he had overdosed on his immunosuppressant medication. Not only that: because he was drinking so heavily, he wasn’t eating or sleeping properly. The combination of these factors have a devastating effect on George’s immune system. It’s not just supressed; it’s virtually switched off completely.” – Dr Payne-James

It has been 10 years since the death of George Best and in this new documentary, one of Britain’s leading forensic physician’s Dr Payne-James reveals how he believes Best actually died – not directly from alcohol but from the very drugs prescribed to save him. Drugs which Payton-James now claims effectively turned off Best’s immune system allowing the infection to destroy his body unchallenged.

George Best in TTTV's Supergran children's series with Gudrun Ure

Pictured: George with Gudrun Ure in Tyne Tees Television’s Children’s ITV series ‘SuperGran’.

In Autopsy: The Last Hours of George Best, Dr Jason Payne-James has gained exclusive access to Best’s Doctors’ notes and re-examines the medical testimony of Best’s doctors and explores the events that led to his untimely death.

Blessed with astonishing skills on the pitch and stunning good looks, George became one of the world’s first superstar footballers in the late 1960s. But on 25th November 2005, Best died at the age of just 59. Throughout his adult life, Best fought a very public battle with alcoholism that led to him needing a liver transplant. Alcohol had a dramatic effect on his life, his relationships and his health, but at the very end was it actually the drink that killed him?

“When he developed a chest infection, there was nothing to stop it spreading throughout his body. By the time George was taken off life support, the infection had quite simply overwhelmed all his vital organs: his lungs, his kidneys, his liver, his heart and his brain. None of them could perform their individual functions necessary to sustain life.” – Dr Payne-James

In the programme, forensic physician Dr Jason Payne-James examines testimony of George Best’s medical history and traces Best’s attempts to beat his addictive illness, charting the impact that a lifetime of drinking had on his body. The programme also talks to George’s son Calum Best and Alex Best George’s ex-wife.

  Autopsy: The Last Hours of George Best, Monday 16th November at 9pm on Channel 5

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