Sir Sean Connery, Academy Award and two-times BAFTA winner, passed away on Saturday, October 31 at the age of 90. Connery was the first actor to portray the fictional spy 'James Bond' on film, a role he was especially notable for.
Connery starred in seven films in the Bond spy thriller franchise (every film from Dr. No to You Only Live Twice, plus Diamonds Are Forever and Never Say Never Again).
In 1998, he won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his role in The Untouchables. Some of his other notable films include Murder on the Orient Express (1974), Highlander (1986), Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989), and Dragonheart (1996).
But, before his film career, there was a time when Connery nearly signed for Premier League giant Manchester United. Connery was an interesting prospect in football, playing for Bonnyrigg Rose in his youth.
During a tour with South Pacific, Connery played in a football match against a local team. Interestingly, Sir Matt Busby, manager of Manchester United at that time, happened to be scouting the match.
Busby was reportedly impressed with Connery's physicality and offered him a contract worth £25 a week (equivalent to £703 in 2019) immediately after the game.
Obviously, Connery did not go down that line. But, the actor was tempted and his reason to deny the offer was fairly valid. "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," Connery had recalled.
Connery went on to become a part of the Hall of Fame in Western cinema. He was knighted by the Queen of the United Kingdom at the Holyrood Palace during the 2000 New Year Honours for services to film drama.
According to BBC News, the veteran actor had just celebrated his 90th birthday in August.
Had Connery chosen the life of a footballer, we would have definitely seen him in action at Old Trafford.