England ace Harry Maguire says World Cup fame won't stop him going to Nando's as he chats wedding plans

The England defender became a fans’ favourite as his performances in Russia helped the Three Lions to a semi-final showdown.

Yet the proud northerner told The Sun on Sunday life will carry on as before.

He said: “I’ll still be the same. I’ll meet my mates in Costa for coffees, go for Nando’s and every now and then we’ll have a game of bowling.

“I just go out normally and I’ll always do the same things. It’ll never put me off.

“I’ve come from a grounded family and had a good upbringing.

“I’m a normal lad and if that changes my family and friends will kick me straight back down, so it definitely won’t be changing.”

Harry, 25, headed the first goal in England’s 2-0 quarter-final victory over Sweden — just two years after attending Euro 2016 in France as a fan.

Sheffield-born Harry said: “The chants they come up with are brilliant and they get your feet tapping. You end up always chanting along.

“Don’t Take Me Home was big back in 2016 and sung every day when England fans got together.

“When you look back two years ago, you never stop believing that you can play for England but in reality you think it is far away.”

That future seemed a mere dream as a boy when his dad Alan began coaching him with Brunsmeer Athletic Juniors.

He started out as a midfielder before later turning into one of the country’s most sought-after centre backs.

Harry said: “I was playing with my older brother and he was kicking all over the garden like he used to do. My dad used to join in quite a lot too.

“He loves his football. His knees don’t hack it now so he’s just following me and supporting me.

“But he claims he is still a better header of the ball than me!

“He still holds me to that one and, until I score a few more goals, he’ll still claim it.”

Harry recalled: “I’d get home from school, then quick turnaround with normally beans on toast that my dad cooked. It was quick fuel ready for training.

“Mum and Dad used to always follow me and support me, taking me to Newcastle on a Sunday morning after getting up at 7am. They have always supported my football but always told me how important school was.

“It was always academic first and I always put school work before football — although I did put a lot into football!”

Along with his brother Joe, Harry delivered the Sunday papers for his local newsagent in Mosborough until he was 15.

Harry said: “We used to take this big bag around and went into games with a sore back.”


  • GOT three A*s, four As and a B at GCSEs
  • RAN 40.5 miles in seven World Cup games
  • DAD Alan was semi-pro with Sheffield FC
  • BROTHERS Laurence and Joe are footballers, for Chesterfield and Gainsborough Trinity
  • WEIGHS 15st 10lb and is 6ft 4in tall
  • HAS 12 England caps
  • MADE England debut less than a year ago vs Lithuania 
  • WORTH more than £50m on the transfer market 
  • STILL goes to Sheffield United matches

He excelled at cross-country running at St Mary’s Catholic School, as well as at football. But it might surprise some fans to find he also got A*s and As at his GCSEs.

He said: “I know lot of people tend not to associate footballers with brightness.

“But I actually got good grades and worked hard. I got mainly A*s and As — A* in maths and one B in English.

“With my dad being an accountant, I probably would have gone into something with numbers and maybe followed his role into something in financial business.

“I took school seriously and worked really hard, and think it is important for any young boy wanting to be a footballer to work hard at school and then work hard at football as well.”

Harry was going to take A-levels in maths, business and physical education until it became clear he was going to be footballer.

And he joked: “The amount of balls I’ve headed over my time, I’m still quite clever with my numbers.”

At heart, Harry is still a fan and goes to Bramall Lane to watch his first club, Sheffield United.

And earlier this week, he watched his footballer brothers Joe and Laurence — both defenders too — playing each other in a pre-season friendly.

Laurence, 21, plays for National League side Chesterfield, who won 4-0 at 26-year-old Joe’s Northern Premier League team Gainsborough Trinity.

It his tight-knit family that will ensure Harry stays grounded, just as they did when the Sheffield United academy player first left for Hull City, then in the Premier League, and then later moved to current club Leicester.

Indeed, Harry is still trying to let the full impact of England’s World Cup journey to the semi-finals, and eventual defeat to Croatia, sink in.

He said he realised the effect Gareth Southgate’s young team was having back home when he saw footage of fans watching at Devonshire Green, Sheffield.

He would have been there, too, if he had not been making a name for himself in Russia — but doubts he would have been chucking his beer in the air to celebrate a goal.

He said: “They always say Yorkshiremen don’t like to waste their money . . . but those videos are incredible.”

When he got back after five weeks away, he was expecting to be greeted by just his dog Simba.

But his parents had arranged a surprise party with family and friends. He is now heading to Barbados on holiday with fiancée Fern Hawkins and has got wedding plans to deal with.

Harry said: “We got engaged three or four months ago but, because of everything, we haven’t really thought about it or planned anything at the moment.

“I’m sure in the coming months we will. Once we’ve had our break we’ll start to think about that. I’ll have to choose one or maybe two Best Men with my brothers.

“I might go with the easy option, or go with one of my really close mates.” Inevitably there will be talk of big clubs like Manchester United looking to move for him.

He said: “Every player wants to play at the highest level. I’ve just come back from playing at a World Cup, where I really enjoyed the high pressure of the games. It was something that I really thrived off.

“Leicester have been unbelievable to me and I’m really happy there but I’m also an ambitious player and everyone wants to play at the top.”

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