Sir Sean Connery, who has played many rounds of golf in the Algarve, celebrated his 80th birthday last week.
As I raised a dram of whisky to toast one of Scotland’s finest actors, I couldn’t but wonder what would have happened if he had accepted Sir Matt Busby’s offer to play for Manchester United.
In 1953, while on tour with South Pacific, Connery played in a football match against a local team that Matt Busby happened to be scouting. According to reports, Busby offered Connery a contract worth £25 a week immediately after the game.
Connery admits that he was tempted to accept, but he recalls, “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.”
But just supposing he had signed for United and gone on to star for Scotland. They might even have qualified for the 1966 World Cup Finals with Connery scoring the winning goal in the final against England.
But then again that could only happen in a James Bond movie with Connery parachuting into Wembley Stadium, dressed in a dinner suite, and dashing from the halfway line to score with a thunder ball of a shot!