Football fans back petition to get image of former Chesterfield schoolboy Harry Maguire riding a unicorn on the new £50 note

(Photo: Jonny Sharples)
(Photo: Jonny Sharples)

He’s a Premier League footballer, England international and World Cup hero – but could Harry Maguire be the new face of the £50 note?

Thousands of football fans have backed a petition to put the Leicester City defender, a former Chesterfield school boy, on the note, when it is redesigned by the Bank of England.

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At the time of writing, more than 3,000 people have now signed the Change.org petition – which calls for an image of England’s Maguire riding an inflatable unicorn on to be proudly emblazoned on the new £50.

Maguire vs Margaret Thatcher

Sheffield United manager Chris Wilder is another tongue-in-cheek suggestion for the new note, along with more serious public campaigns for Margaret Thatcher, Princess Diana and Emmeline Pankhurst.

Maguire’s main rival on the petition website at the moment is former Prime Minister Thatcher, with over 8,000 people backing the Iron Lady so far.

The petition for Maguire was started by Jonny Sharples, who wrote: “The Bank of England are redesigning the £50 following the successful redesign of the £5, £10, and £20 notes.

“None of these notes so far have featured a World Cup semi finalist floating on a mythical creature, and in the interests of football’s attempts to come home, who would be more appropriate to feature than Harry Maguire riding an inflatable unicorn?”

Further promoting the humorous campaign, Sharples called for support on Twitter: “This needs to be signed and shared as much as possible.

“We need a genuine national hero on the new £50 – not somebody like Margaret Thatcher, who hasn’t scored a single goal in World Cup knockout match never mind ridden an inflatable unicorn.”

Time for a change?

The £50 note will get a redesign, despite fears it would be scrapped altogether.

A review by the Treasury in March said it was rarely used for daily transactions and was the “currency of corrupt elites”.

Manufacturer Matthew Boulton and engineer James Watt are currently on the £50 tender, but will lose their places when new polymer £20 and £50 notes are introduced from 2020.

The new notes will be more durable, printed in the UK and harder to forge.