Belfast Telegraph

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

By Joanne Sweeney

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 

Belfast Telegraph


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