Joker who campaigned to get Harry Maguire and a unicorn on new £50 note ‘disappointed’ it’s Alan Turing


The man who launched a campaign to get England defender Harry Maguire on the new £50 jokingly said it’s a “huge disappointment” that WWII codebreaker and LGBT+ icon Alan Turing was chosen instead.

A petition was launched by Jonny Sharples to feature a picture of the footballer on an inflatable unicorn and it received 50,000 signatures on

However, the mathematician Alan Turing was announced to appear on the new polymer notes from 2021.

The Bank of England confirmed that it had received the nomination but could not accept it because Maguire didn’t meet the criteria: He is not a scientist, and he is still alive.

Sharples said: "Obviously it’s a huge disappointment, for myself and no doubt for both Harry and the inflatable unicorn as well, to have missed out on a place on the £50 note”.

Over 50,000 people signed the initial petition back in October so I believed Harry and the unicorn were in with a good chance despite the frankly draconian selection criteria such as ‘must have contributed to the field of science’, ‘must be deceased’ and ‘can’t be an inflatable unicorn’.

Perhaps they were too fearful of facing a backlash from the 50,000 signatories. Perhaps they were too busy regulating banks and setting the interest rate. Who can say for sure?

The campaign went national last year, after Maguire was pictured alongside his teammates on inflatable unicorns during England's 2018 World Cup campaign.


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