Best medal fetches £156,000 at auction

LONDON - A 1968 European Cup winner's medal awarded to Manchester United great George Best sold for 156,000 pounds at auction on Wednesday.

The medal, which Bonhams had expected to fetch 90-120,000 pounds, was presented after United's 4-1 win over Benfica when they became the first English team to win the European Cup.

The medal was among 13 awards presented to Northern Ireland international Best during his career which were auctioned at Bonhams by the executors of his estate.

The proceeds from the sale of the times, which totalled 200,000 pounds, will go to Best's sister Barbara McNally.

A replica of the European Cup winner's medal, made for Best when he misplaced the original, fetched 9,000 pounds, Bonhams said.

Belfast-born Best made 470 appearances for United between 1963 and 1974, scoring 179 goals, but after leaving the club his glittering career went into decline as his celebrity lifestyle began to take its toll.

The player died aged 59 in 2005 after a long battle with drink and its associated health problems.