Mum leaps to defence of under-fire ex-Wigan Athletic man

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Harry Maguire’s mother has criticised the “disgraceful” abuse her son has been subjected to which she claims goes far beyond football.

The under-fire Manchester United defender – who spent the second half od the 2014/15 campaign on loan at Wigan Athletic from Hull City – dismissed the reception he received at Hampden Park during England’s 3-1 friendly win over Scotland but manager Gareth Southgate said it was “ridiculous” and “a joke”.

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“As a mum seeing the level of negative and abusive comments in which my son is receiving from some fans, pundits and the media is disgraceful and totally unacceptable to any walk of life, never mind someone who works his socks off for club and country,” she wrote on Instagram.

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Harry Maguire's miserable run continued when he scored an own goal during England's victory over Scotland in midweekHarry Maguire's miserable run continued when he scored an own goal during England's victory over Scotland in midweek
Harry Maguire's miserable run continued when he scored an own goal during England's victory over Scotland in midweek

“I was there in the stand as usual, it’s 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’.

“For me seeing him go through what he’s going through is not OK."I would hate to have to see any other parents or players go through this in the future, especially the young boys and girls breaking through the ranks today.

“Harry has a massive heart and 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!”

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Little more than two years ago, the centre-back was an ever-present for United and earned a place in the Euros team of the tournament after helping Southgate’s side reach the final.

But a drop in form and club game time, including being replaced as captain at Old Trafford, has led pressure and criticism to ratchet up on Maguire, which culminated in every pass Maguire made on Tuesday being met by an ironic cheer after he was brought on as a half-time substitute – where he scored an unfortunate own goal.

“It pretty much takes the pressure away from my team-mates and puts it all on myself. It makes them play better, for sure,” said Maguire after the game.

“It is a little bit of banter and it is a hostile environment, coming away to Scotland.

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“I would not say I am a person who struggles with pressure mentally.

"I have been through a lot in the last couple of years and I have been Manchester United captain for nearly four years.

“You take a huge lot of responsibility and everything that comes with it and that is a lot of bad as well as good.”

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers, who briefly worked with Maguire at Leicester before he left for Old Trafford in the summer of 2019, said the root of the issue of abuse was from United fans.

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“I find it a real shame," said Rodgers. "He’s a good guy, he is obviously a top-class player and the focus and noise around him sadly has probably been created by his own club supporters and that has spilled out onto other supporters.

“I know having worked with him if you need someone by your side when it’s tough you’d want him beside you."