Sean Connery: How late James Bond 007 probably missed the chance to be Manchester United’s greatest no.7
For many, Sean Connery was the definitive James Bond. Suave and cold-hearted, his 007 was every inch the Cold War dinosaur of the Ian Fleming books.
However, few people knew that Connery had enough remarkable football skills such that Sir Matt Busby, Manchester United’s legendary manager offered him a £25-a-week deal to play for the Red Devils in the 1950s.
However, bitten by the acting bug when odd-jobbing at a local theatre, he decided a footballer’s career was potentially too short and opted to pursue his luck on the stage. It was, he later said, “one of my more intelligent moves”.
So, in 1953, while the United squad was competing for honours domesticallu and in Europe, Connery was in London competing in the Mr Universe competition.
Had he joined United, Connery would undoubtedly have been involved in the tragic air disaster of February 1958 in Munich which led to the death of 23 people including eight players and severely injured Busby himself.
And he would probably be among the United legends like Bobby and Jack Charlton who lifted the Champions Cup in 1968 after defeating Benfica.
But he choose a totally different path which ultimately led to fame, fortune and a knighthood.