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George Best movie audition hopefuls - pictures flood in from men who want to play the Manchester United legend

By Joanne Sweeney

Published 05/06/2015

George Best movie audition hopefuls - pictures from men who want to play the Manchester United legend in the Stephen Evans' film The Madness Of King George. Above: John Mullin
George Best movie audition hopefuls - pictures from men who want to play the Manchester United legend in the Stephen Evans' film The Madness Of King George. Above: John Mullin
George Best advertising Cookstown Sausages
Ray Kenning
George Best in a Glentoran shirt with another ex Northern Ireland international Norman Whiteside - and a young Stephen Chick
Callum Byers
Football legend George Best pictured in January 1964
Cameron Ervine. Submitted by Jennifer Ervine
George Best
Clark Chambers
George Best, during the Northern Ireland v England match in October 1966
David Holmes
Football legend George Best pictured in January 1964
Ethan Braniff
Manchester United legend George Best
Denis Halligan
Benfica's Goalkeeper Jose Henrique (left) races back to his goal in a vain attempt to stop George Best (right) of Manchester United from scoring his team's second goal in the the European Cup final at Wembley, 29th May 1968. United eventually won 4-3 after extra time.
Harry Ennis
George Best pictured with Pat Jennings
James Galloghly
Football legend George Best pictured at Windsor Park
George Best in training for Manchester United
These are pictures of my son Jonathan age 17 from Belfast. He is an actor and also a footballer - he is a member of Centre Stage Drama School and plays football for a local team. I think he could play the role of George Best age 15. Submitted by mum Elaine
Football legend George Best
Kieran Corr
George Best relaxes with a cup of coffee as he waits for the action in Bulgaria to begin
Heres a handsome chap for ya - maybe looks more like calum though. Submitted by Laura Mack
George Best footballer in Manchester United kit
Lewis Mc Keown pictured with his dad Paul
George Best in action for Manchester United
Raymond Walsh
George Best: Manchester United and Northern Ireland Legend
Robbie Martin
George Best puts pressure on Gordon Banks as he prepares to clear the ball from the England penalty area in the 1971 international at Windsor Park.
Shane Todd
George Best with Lawrie Sanchez
Michael Watson submitted by his dad Tom
George Best
Allison Sykes has submitted this picture of her son
John Chaffetz, an official of the Los Angeles Aztecs, points the way for soccer star George Best. Best was attending a press conference after joing the Aztecs in 1976
Hamish Graham
Football legend George Best, pictured with Pat Jennings (left) and Billy Bingham (right).
George Best in April 2002 at the house in Burren Way, where he unveiled a plaque after being awarded the freedom of Castlereagh
George Best and his mother Annie
Football legend George Best pictured in 1990
George Best, ex-Manchester United footballer, smiling with bruised eye
Manchester United and Northern Ireland football legend George Best
A bus stop on the Cregagh Road on the morning of George Best's funeral.
Flags at George Best funeral at Stormont. Saturday 3rd December 2005
The garden of the Best family home in Burren Way, Cregagh, on the day of George's funeral.
The George Best funeral cortege on the Ballygowan Road.
Calum Best in the funeral cortege.
The George Best funeral cortege on the Ballygowan Road.
Calum and Dickie Best at George Best's funeral
The crowd on the Cregagh Road waiting for George Best's funeral cortege.
Crowds gather at Stormont for the funeral of George Best
Crowds gather at Stormont for the funeral of George Best
George Best's coffin is carried up the steps to the Stormont buildings
George Best's coffin is draped with the Northern Ireland flag
George Best's agent Phil Hughes (centre) with Eamonn Holmes next to George Best's coffin in the Parliament buildings in Stormont, Belfast, Saturday December 3, 2005. The world of football was today paying its last respects as George Best, one of the greatest ever players, was laid to rest. Best, 59, died last Friday in London's Cromwell Hospital.
The Best family at the George Best funeral at Stormont
Billy Bingham at George Best's funeral
Robert Dunlop at George Best's funeral
Dickie and Calum Best at the funeral of George Best funeral at Stormont.
Terry Neill at George Best's funeral
Paddy Kielty and Gerry Armstrong at George Best's funeral
Frank McLintock at George Best's funeral
Mike England at George Best's funeral
Derek Dougan at George Best's funeral
Milan Manderic at George Best's funeral
Pat Jennings at George Best's funeral
Phil Taylor, George Best's agent and Jackie Fullerton at George Best's funeral
Alex Higgans at George Best's funeral
Bobby Jameson at George Best's funeral
Barry McGuigan and his wife at George Best's funeral
Rodney Marsh at George Best's funeral
Dennis Law (centre) at George Best's funeral
Martin O'Neill at George Best's funeral
Callum Best and mum Angie at George Best's funeral
George Best's grave
The Best family plot at Roselawn on the day before George's funeral.
Some of the Best memorabilia up for grabs at Wilsons Auction house today. Pictured a silver Benfica letter opener, dated 1966, given to George which marks Man Utd's 5-1 European Cup defeat of Benfica in Lisbon. There are 110 lots of George Best memorabilia available, collected by Dickie Best over a period of 40 years
Best Fan - 7 year old Luke McMullan from Dungannon holding a replica European Champions Manchester United Trophy presented to Dickie Best when George Best died. There are 110 lots of George Best memorabilia available, collected by Dickie Best over a period of 40 years.
Some of the Best memorabilia up for grabs at Wilsons Auction house today. There are 110 lots of George Best memorabilia available, collected by Dickie Best over a period of 40 years.
Some of the Best memorabilia up for grabs at Wilsons Auction house today. There are 110 lots of George Best memorabilia available, collected by Dickie Best over a period of 40 years.
Best Fans - Mark McIlwaine (13, left) and David McCracken (13), both from Lurgan Junior High admiring some of the Best memorabilia up for grabs at Wilsons Auction house today. There are 110 lots of George Best memorabilia available, collected by Dickie Best over a period of 40 years.
Best Fan - 7 year old Luke McMullan from Dungannon (dressed in his school rugby kit) holding a cast from George Best's original match worn boots, pictured amongst Best memorabilia at Wilsons Auction house today. There are 110 lots of George Best memorabilia available, collected by Dickie Best over a period of 40 years.
Items on sale of the Dickie Best collection which will go on public auction on the 19th march at the Wilsons premises in Mallusk with 110 lots of George Best memorabillia available which was collected by Dickie over a 40 year period.
Family Portrait (left to right): Carol Best - Lisa Hogg; Julie Best (Twin) - Catherine Quinn; Ann Best - Michelle Fairley; George Best - Tom Payne; Dickie Best - Lorcan Cranitch; Grace Best (Twin) - Amy Quinn; Barbara Best - Laura Donnelly
George Best played by Tom Payne
Ann Best played by Michelle Fairley
George Best played by Tom Payne
Ann Best played by Michelle Fairley
Ann Best played by Michelle Fairley
George Best played by Tom Payne
George Best played by Tom Payne
Richard (Dickie) Best with a picture of his son, footballer George Best pictured at his home in Belfast. October 2005

Fifty of our best Belfast men may have been rejected by a top movie producer for not being good-looking enough to play the legendary George Best - but we have 40 more!

The Belfast Telegraph today asks Oscar-winning film producer Stephen Evans to look again at a series of new hopefuls who believe that they have what it takes to play the most charismatic footballer in the world in a new movie.

The Belfast boy stunned the world with his footballing talent for Manchester United and Northern Ireland, inspiring love and devotion in a legion of fans.

And now a Northern Ireland man could have a chance of playing his hero in the forthcoming biopic of George's life.

The Belfast Telegraph revealed this week how the producer claimed that he failed to find his star after auditioning 50 young men in the footballer's home town recently.

The man behind The Madness Of King George said that he couldn't find anyone good-looking enough to portray Bestie.

He threw down the gauntlet to the men of Northern Ireland.

And readers responded to the challenge with dozens of pictures sent into the Belfast Telegraph from those looking to audition for the prized role.

The photographs represented all ages and all aspects of the visual appearance of the striker, who dazzled men on the pitch and many a woman off it.

Mothers, grandfathers, girlfriends and opportunistic friends emailed us interested to get Mr Evans' contact details for the one-in-a-million chance of fame and fortune.

He is looking for several potential George Bests - from the age of 15 when he left home to play for Manchester United, and later as a young player in his twenties.

He told the Daily Mail: "I've looked at 50 youngsters in Belfast, but can't find anyone good-looking enough.

"I have a wonderful lad playing the goalie Ronnie Briggs, who shared digs with Best when he first came to Manchester United, and I am afraid he might overshadow Best."

The producer added he was after a "good-looking, spindly, cheeky-chappy".

Some of those who contacted us believe that they either have the looks, the football skills or the acting skills - and some all of the three - to play Bestie in his heyday.

Calum Bryers (17) from east Belfast attends Grosvenor Grammar School - just like George did for some time.

Even better, the student has also played for the Northern Ireland U15 and U18 teams.

"Some of my mates have said that I look a bit like George Best but they might have been joking," said the Chelsea fan.

Proud mum Emma-Louise Potter from Carryduff contacted us on behalf of her handsome 15-year-old, David.

The Belfast lad certainly has the football skills as he played for Cregagh Wanderers - just like George - and was voted Clubman of the Year by his team Hillsborough Boys.

His grandfather, lifelong Belfast Telegraph reader Valentine Potter, had a double-take when he saw our recent story as he thought it was his grandson looking out at him.

Jonny Sykes (24) from Belfast has Northern Ireland football in his DNA - his grandfather was Alex Sykes, who won an international cap in 1963.

His mum Allison believes that her modest son has what it takes.

"When I told him that I sent his picture into the Telegraph he just laughed at me, but we really would love to have Mr Evans' contact details," she added.

James Galloghly (30) from Camlough, Co Armagh, is an aspiring actor and model who's also very handy on the pitch as he plays for Camlough Rovers.

John Mullin (33) from Omagh, but now living in England, says his girlfriend swears he looks like George Best when he smiles.

The former frontman of Northern Ireland band The Basement thinks that his father looked more like George than he does.

Part-time gardener and drama student Robbie Martin (24) from Greenisland, Co Antrim, said that a chance to play George Best would be "unbelievable".

"He was one of the best and I love watching him play on videos from the era," he added.

Daniel Hodge (19) from south Belfast feels that he would be able to bring "the maverick" side of George Best to life on the big screen.

"I have been told by friends that I look a bit like him, but I beg to differ."

So, Stephen Evans, contact us - we just might have found the next George Best for you.

Further Reading

Why 50 actors failed audition to play Manchester United legend George Best 

They did their Best: four actors who have played the football genius - Ian McShane, John Lynch, Tom Payne and Aidan O'Neill

Spirit of George Best lives on in new terrace chant by Manchester United fans  

Northern Ireland's most gifted footballer George Best would have been 69 today, here we celebrate the Manchester United legend's life  

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