US football fan follows Latics idol to the World Cup

Max Leiva (left) with a fellow Egypt fan
Max Leiva (left) with a fellow Egypt fan

A New York-based Latics fan has been spreading the word about his footballing idols far and wide at Russia 2018.

Maximillian Leiva, 25, has been following the fortunes of Wigan captain Sam Morsy and his Egyptian team-mates from Ekaterinburg to St Petersburg for the past week.

Max in St Petersburg wearing his Wigan shirt

Max in St Petersburg wearing his Wigan shirt

Related: Support for England squad sees Wigan duo jet into Russia

And while the World Cup may not have gone quite according to plan for Morsy, Mo Salah and the Pharaohs, the reaction to Max and his DW heroes has been second to none.

His blue and white shirt has been greeted by chants of Will Grigg’s on Fire,
wherever he’s travelled.

The 25-year-old, from Fort Greene, Brooklyn, was even interviewed by England’s official fan TV channel before one group A tie.

Latics captain Sam Morsy

Latics captain Sam Morsy

He said: “The World Cup is what every football fan dreams of. I was desperate to see any Wigan internationals possible, so when Egypt qualified I was overjoyed with the prospect of seeing our captain representing the Tics on the biggest stage of all.

“Living in New York and not being able to go to the DW every other week, I wanted to be Wigan’s global ambassador.

“So I bought four new Wigan shirts with the intention of swapping them with fans all over the world.

“So that people in Russia, Morocco, Brazil and Japan were all walking around in Wigan shirts.

“I’ve been overwhelmed with the support since I’ve arrived in St Petersburg.

“In the fan zones I’ve had numerous people every day coming up to me, recognising the crest, and even more chanting Will Grigg’s on Fire.”

Max, who works as a leasing agent in Brooklyn, grew up in London and admits that he fell in with Wigan when the likes of Gary Teale and Andy Liddell were helping the Latics up the Football League.

He even claimed to have been the first runner to complete the New York Marathon in a Latics shirt last November.

After his mini-Morsy odyssey he’s now got tickets for Germany vs Sweden in Sochi. But he’ll be back in the north-west, when the new season rolls around, to see Wigan’s return to the Championship.