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Harry Maguire’s mum says abuse of defender goes far beyond football

September 14, 2023

The mother of footballer Harry Maguire has said the abuse he has faced has been “disgraceful” and “unacceptable”.

The England and Manchester United star has received much criticism in print and online, which has seen him booed by his own fans, and he was mocked during England’s game on Tuesday.

England boss Gareth Southgate said his treatment by fans was “ridiculous”.

On Instagram, his mum Zoe said she knew the game had “ups and downs” but the abuse went “far beyond” football.

Maguire was a key part of the England teams that reached the 2018 World Cup semi-finals and Euro 2020 final and was United captain, but a downturn in form has seen the 30-year-old lose his starting place at Old Trafford and the captaincy.

He has been booed by fans while playing for England, during 2022 friendlies against Ivory Coast and Germany, and United, in pre-season friendlies abroad for the last two seasons.

‘Not OK’

Speaking after the game on Tuesday, in which he was a second-half substitute and scored an own goal, Maguire said the Scotland fans’ actions were a “little bit of banter” and he could “deal with it”.

“It pretty much takes the pressure away from my teammates and puts it all on myself,” he said.

In her post, his mother said seeing the “level of negative and abusive comments” he had received from “some fans, pundits and the media” was “disgraceful and totally unacceptable to any walk of life, never mind [to] someone who works his socks off for club and country”.

She said she was at Hampden Park and it was “not acceptable what’s been created, over nothing”.

“I understand that in the football world, there are ups and downs, positives and negatives, but what Harry receives has gone far beyond ‘football’,” she said.

She said watching what he received was “not OK” and she would not want to see any parents or players “go through this in the future, especially the young boys and girls breaking through the ranks”.

She said her son had “a massive heart”, adding: “It’s a good job he’s mentally strong and can handle it as others may not be able to.”

“I wish this sort of abuse on nobody,” she said.

Brighton captain Lewis Dunk, who partnered Maguire in Scotland, said what he faced was “unfair”.

“It is very harsh. That’s the way unfortunately football and sometimes fans, media take a story and they run with it,” he said.

“This one has built up massively and it is an ongoing thing… but I think he can hold his head high and take massive credit from the way he has handled it.”

 

BBC

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