The Rewind

Sean Connery Was Once Offered A Man United Contract By Matt Busby

Sean Connery Was Once Offered A Man United Contract By Matt Busby

The greatest Bond of all, Sean Connery, has passed away at the age of 90.

The Scot left an indelible mark on cinema with his star turn as Ian Fleming's James Bond, starring in seven movies as 007 over the course of 21 years. He also won an Academy Award for his role as Jimmy Malone in The Untouchables.

However, Connery wasn't just talented on screen. Before his initial entry into film, he had enlisted in the Royal Navy at the age of 16 and held a series of odd jobs around Edinburgh following being discharged, including coffin polisher and artist's model at the Edinburgh College of Art.

However, when he stepped into the world of acting in the touring musical South Pacific in 1953, it was his footballing skills which nearly led him down a different road to superstardom.

Connery had played youth football for prestigious Edinburgh side Bonnyrigg Rose, as well as being offered a trial at Scottish league club East Fife. Nevertheless, whilst touring with South Pacific, he and fellow cast members played a match against a local side in Manchester, who were being scouted by Manchester United's Matt Busby.

Following his performance in the friendly, Connery was offered a Manchester United contract by his fellow Scot. The contract offer was £25 a week, almost double what he was making as a touring actor.

Connery, despite his internal conflict, turned the contract down.


"I really wanted to accept because I loved football," recalled Connery. "But I realised that a top-class footballer could be over the hill by the age of 30, and I was already 23.

"I decided to become an actor and it turned out to be one of my more intelligent moves."

Imagine a world where Sean Connery wasn't one of cinemas most iconic actors, rather a dogged centre mid for the Busby Babes.

Though, perhaps Sean Connery's most iconic foray into the footballing world was the use of his reading of The Beatles 'In My Life' over the post-match montage of Liverpool's 2005 Champions League comeback.

A expert performance, as you'd come to expect from the milkman from Fountainbridge.





Sean Meehan

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