A license to score | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, November 05, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, November 05, 2017

A license to score

How Connery could have been 'The Busby Bond'

Before he was licensed to kill, Sean Connery worked the streets of Edinburgh as a driver of a horse-drawn milk cart, lifeguard, day laborer, and artists' model. He also played as a number seven for a Midlothian club with the perfectly Scottish name of Bonnyrigg Rose, where he apparently unleashed at least one 30 yard screamer for a 3-1 win over Broxburn Athletic, which was enough to warrant some attention from Scottish side East Fife.

"I played for Bonnyrigg Rose," Connery recalled in an interview. "And I was offered a trial by East Fife. That's the truth. Celtic, no."

In 1953, Connery was on a touring production that came to Manchester. He played in a friendly between the production company's best XI and some locals in a match that just happened to be scouted by one Matt Busby, who was then the manager of a quiet little club called Manchester United.

Busby was impressed with Connery's physicality and offered him a 25 pound-per-week contract there on the spot. Connery turned it down, reasoning that if he became a professional footballer, he'd likely be retired by age 30, whereas this acting thing just might be able to provide him with a longer working life.

"I really wanted to accept [Matt Busby's offer] 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."

Think about it. James Bond could've been a Busby Babe!

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