Sheffield United: Petition launched to put ex-Blades defender Harry Maguire riding a unicorn on the new £50 note

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

Thousands of football fans have backed a petition to put an image of the Leicester City defender on the notes when they are redesigned by the Bank of England.

English manufacturer Matthew Boulton and the Scottish engineer James Watt are currently on the note, but will lose their place as new polymer £20 and £50 notes are introduced from 2020.

Over 2,500 fans have signed a Change.org petition to put an image of ex-Sheffield United man Maguire riding an inflatable unicorn on the note.

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Current Blades boss Chris Wilder was another tongue-in-cheek suggestion along with more serious public campaigns for Margaret Thatcher, Princess Diana and Emmeline Pankhurst.

Harry Maguire

Harry Maguire

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 Mosborough native 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.

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“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?”

Adding to the humour of the 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.”

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The £50 note will get a redesign despite fears it would be scrapped after a review by the Treasury in March said it was rarely used for daily transactions and was the “currency of corrupt elites”.

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