Sean Connery was offered Man Utd contract at 23 – but rejected the deal

Sean Connery was once offered a £25-a-week contract at Manchester United – but turned it down.

Film fans are in mourning after the James Bond actor sadly passed away aged 90 this weekend.

But his career could have taken a completely different path after he was offered a contract by legendary United boss Sir Matt Busby.

Connery, then 23, had played in a practice match between United players and actors.

And Busby was so impressed with his form that he asked him to link up with the squad and put a contract in front of him immediately.

However, Connery believed he was too old to begin a playing career – and decided to stick with his fledgling silver screen role.

It is believed that Connery was a right winger – and standing 6ft 2in tall, would have been quite the presence.

Recalling the 1953 match, Connery said: "I really wanted to accept because I loved football.

"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."

It was not the only time that scouts were alerted to Connery's form, having also caught the eye while playing for Bonnyrigg Rose, an amateur Edinburgh side, which led to an opportunity with East Fife.

He said: "I played for Bonnyrigg Rose and I was offered a trial by East Fife. That’s the truth. Celtic, no."

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