United cause: Manchester pop group reaching for the Electric Stars with charity George Best single

Manchester pop group The Electric Stars are calling on United fans to help them reach number one in the charts with their charity cover of Don Fardon’s George Best-inspired 70s hit Belfast Boy.

The single, which is set to be released on May 12, will be accompanied by the Stars’ own ode to the football hero Georgie (The Brightest Star) with the proceeds raising funds for the Manchester United Foundation and Best’s own foundation.

The release will mark what would have been Northern Ireland wing wizard Best’s 68th birthday.

Electric Stars lead singer Jason Edge paid tribute to the impact United’s number seven had and told MM: “It’s not just about football.

“Regardless of who you support Georgie Best is an icon. It was one of those times in the 70s when the world was changing.

“He’s more than just a United footballer.”

The Red Devils have provided backing for the release with a star-studded tribute sleeve accompanying the physical release with contributions from the likes of Sir Alex Ferguson, Sir Bobby Charlton and current caretaker boss Ryan Giggs.

Fellow football luminaries providing their own memories of Best include Brazilian legend Pele, Denis Law and Paddy Crerand aswell.

While Manchester City hero and the Northern Irishman’s best friend Mike Summerbee and United fanatic television presenter and George Best foundation president Eamonn Holmes also add their words to the limited edition sleeve – and Holmes even suggested the song was released to aid the charity.

“We’ve always jammed around the old song in the rehearsal room as a 60s and 70s-influenced band,” said Edge.

“Eamonn pointed out that he didn’t think it had been re-recorded by anyone and then we had a lightbulb moment.

“The Best family were very excited about the idea and the top brass at United thought it was wonderful.”

Manchester United great Best, who died in November 2005, has been immortalised in a statue outside Old Trafford along with fellow ‘Holy Trinity’ legends Charlton and Law for his contribution to the club’s history.

He inspired manager Busby’s side to a 1968 European Cup Final win over Benfica at Wembley and struck 137 goals in 361 games between 1963 and 1974.

Belfast Boy, which was originally not affiliated to any cause and was ‘just a pop song about a famous person’ according to Edge, reached number 32 in the charts when it hit the airwaves in April 1970.

The United-mad pop group formed in 2011, before signing to Detour Records in February 2012, and released their debut album Sonic Candy Soul in September that year.

The Charlatans, Kaiser Chiefs, Macy Gray & Jefferson Airplane are among the bands that the Electric Stars have provided support for in recent years.

And the club’s own youth choir has joined forces with the band to provide backing vocals on the single.

Aside from the football pitch, the band is also keen to see a guitar-based tune make a splash in the charts with their homegrown campaign.

Edge said: “People assume you have to be from a talent show to get a guitar song into the charts.

“We want to show you can get into the charts without being on a Simon Cowell show.

“We are doing a lot of this on our own on a small indie label.”

Pre-orders of the single are available on HMV Records, Amazon or iTunes before release on May 12.

More details are available on the Electric Stars’ website www.theelectricstars.com

Main image courtesy of the BBC via YouTube, with thanks.

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