George Best
George Best died in 2005 due to multiple organ failure after a kidney operationGetty

The family of late footballer George Best were surprised to learn that the sports star's original birth certificate actually listed a different name.

The Belfast Telegraph unearthed the document and discovered that the Manchester United legend was registered as Ronald Samuel Best shortly after his birth on 22 May 1946.

However, 15 days later on 6 June 1946, the Northern Irish star's parents changed the name to George for a reason which is not known.

Best's brother-in-law, Norman McNarry, who is married to the footballer's sister Barbara, revealed that the name change is a mystery to the whole family.

McNarry told the publication: "Barbara hasn't a clue about the name change on the birth certificate and she doesn't think anyone can explain how it happened. It's a grey area as far as we're concerned."

The family will most likely never know the real reason as Best's parents have now passed away. His mother, Anne, died in 1978 due to heart-related problems, while his father, Dickie, died in 2008.

Sharing his theory, McNarry, 66, added: "We can only assume that it was a misprint, or that a mistake has been made and later rectified.

"Maybe the registrar of births got it slightly wrong and then changed it after Barbara's dad pointed it out and said he was called George."

Best died at the age of 59 on 25 November 2005 due to multiple organ failure after a kidney operation. He spent several years prior battling alcohol addiction.