British soccer legend George Best is "fighting for his life" in a London hospital, where he is in a critical condition on a life support machine suffering from internal bleeding.

The former Manchester United and Northern Ireland player, as famous for his alcoholism as his soccer skills, has spent three weeks in intensive care with an infection at the British capital's Cromwell Hospital.

His model son CALUM and his 85-year-old father DICKIE yesterday (26OCT05) flocked to Best's bedside.

Surgeon ROGER WILLIAMS says, "We are not giving up. There's still a chance we can get him through this."

Best had a liver transplant in 2002, and Professor Williams says prescribed drugs needed after this operation, and not excessive drinking, were the cause of his current illness.

The 59-year-old's friend and agent Phil Hughes adds, "His kidney infection is now affecting other organs. There is internal bleeding. He is seriously ill and fighting for his life.

"It's as about as bad as it gets and we are all obviously deeply worried. The doctors are adjusting the drugs he is taking and he is currently stable.

"He took a turn for the worse a couple of days ago."

Speaking last night (26OCT05), his ex-wife ALEX BEST said, "I have been told that George's condition has deteriorated dramatically during today.

"I am just praying that, once again, he somehow manages to pull through against all the odds. My thoughts and prayers are with him."