A petition to get Harry Maguire on the £50 note has more signatures than one for Margaret Thatcher
He was one of the heroes of England's World Cup campaign – and if a new petition gets its way, he'll be gracing the £50 note before too long.
Most of us have probably never even seen a £50 note, let alone owned one. It's fair to say that if somebody asked you to say who was on it (other than the Queen, obv), you wouldn't have a clue (apparently it's Matthew Boulton and James Watt...).
In fact, the notes are so uncommon that there have even been calls for them to be scrapped altogether, as people making high value purchases will typically pay by card anyway.
So when it was announced over the weekend that the £50 note wouldn't be discontinued, but would in fact get a plastic redesign (like the £5 and £10 notes), the news was largely met with a reaction of "ok, who cares?"... except for one crucial detail:
The Bank [of England] will announce a character selection process for the new £50 note in due course, which will seek nominations from the public for potential characters to appear on the new note.
While some made admirable calls for notable historic figures to take pride of place on the new £50 note, one Twitter user tapped into the hearts and minds of the nation and put forward a bit of a left-field suggestion...
Harry Maguire on a unicorn... on a £50 note
— Online Joker Jonny Sharples (@JonnyGabriel) October 14, 2018
Shortly after the news broke that the public would be consulted over who will appear on the new £50 note, Twitter user Johnny Sharples tweeted a screenshot of the headline alongside a photo of what was, for our money, one of the moments of the World Cup: Harry Maguire riding an inflatable unicorn.
But what started off as a joke quickly became much more than that. Less than a day later, and with thousands of retweets and likes supporting the tweet, Johnny decided to set up an online petition for the cause – complete with a mock-up of what the £50 note may look like:
— Online Joker Jonny Sharples (@JonnyGabriel) October 15, 2018
Like the tweet, the petition became a viral hit. At the time of writing the campaign has over 17,000 signatures, though that figure is rising rapidly.
The campaign has even been backed by Maguire's England teammate, Kyle Walker, who went as far as to suggest that his own infamous World Cup moment should be on the £5 note, too:
— Kyle Walker (@kylewalker2) October 16, 2018
Beating Margaret Thatcher
As the petition really started to take off, Jonny took to Twitter to announce his new goal: to get more signatures than the campaign for Margaret Thatcher to appear on the new £50 notes.
At that point, Maguire was just shy of 8,000 signatures, while Thatcher was a fair way ahead with over 10,000.
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But in news that we're sure will delight students everywhere – even those who don't care about football – Margaret Thatcher's cause has just over 11,300 signatures. With Maguire and his inflatable unicorn gaining all the momentum of a runaway train, it seems that we've dodged the bullet of having Thatcher on our money.
Will Harry Maguire actually be on the £50 note?
Jonny Sharples has even found himself on national radio promoting his petition, lending more credibility (we hope) to the efforts to get Harry Maguire on the £50 note:
— BBC Radio 5 Live (@bbc5live) October 16, 2018
He's even justified the cause with an impassioned argument detailing why Maguire, or 'Slabhead' as his teammates call him, is the best candidate:
I think Harry Maguire represents some of the core British values that we should have represent our £50 note.
He's brave, he's strong, he has a big head – I think those are all characteristics that you would want to associate with British people and Britain as a whole.
Of course, should Jonny's petition prove successful, Maguire won't be the first of England's 2018 World Cup team to find themselves on British currency.
Back in July we covered the news that five Harry Kane fivers had entered circulation, featuring a small engraving of the Golden Boot winner. If you manage to find one of the elusive £5 notes, we recommend you look to sell it – they're valued at a whopping £50,000 each!
And in other exciting currency-based news (yes, we never thought we'd write that either), a new Paddington Bear 50p is now in circulation – and if you find one, it could be worth a lot more than just 50p!
Who are you backing to be on the £50 note? Harry Maguire, Margaret Thatcher or someone else? Let us know in the comments!