Manchester United's Maguire grateful for Beckham support in troubled times

AFP , Wednesday 11 Oct 2023

Harry Maguire has thanked David Beckham after the former Manchester United star contacted the troubled England defender to offer support when he was booed by Scotland fans earlier this season.

Maguire
Manchester United s English defender #05 Harry Maguire warms up ahead of the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Brentford at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on October 7, 2023. AFP

Maguire has endured abuse from supporters across the country during his difficult spell at Old Trafford, but the penchant for picking on the centre-back reached a crescendo during England's friendly in Scotland last month.

The 30-year-old was mercilessly goaded at Hampden Park after scoring an own goal in England's 3-1 win.

Maguire laughed it off as a "little bit of banter" immediately after the match but his mother publicly came to his defence after growing tired of the relentless abuse of her son.

Former England captain Beckham also offered support to Maguire as he personally reached out to the former Leicester star, who has lost his place in the United defence, as well as the club captaincy, during Erik ten Hag's reign.

Few have faced more difficult times in an England shirt than Beckham, who laid bare the pain he suffered after his 1998 World Cup red card against Argentina in a new Netflix documentary.

"I actually spoke with David about three weeks ago, after the Scotland game," Maguire said on Monday.

"He got in touch with me, so it was really nice of him and I really appreciated that. It meant everything.

"I've spoken throughout my career about David Beckham being someone I looked up to and watched when I was a young boy.

"Unfortunately, I didn't end up on the right wing scoring and assisting as many goals as he has. But he was a big role model when I was growing up.

"It shows how classy he is to reach out to me and to message me. It was something I really appreciated. It was touching really."

Maguire said the "main thing" Beckham did in their conversation was to remind him of his career to date and the big moments he has enjoyed.

"I think when you're going through tough moments, you've got to go through past experiences and where you've gone in your career and what you've been through," Maguire said in the build-up to England's friendly against Australia at Wembley on Friday.

"Every career is so up and down, especially when you reach what I've reached, in terms of being the captain of the biggest club in the world for three and a half years. He's been in that position and knows what it's like.

"Obviously having watched the documentary I couldn't believe how much he went through at the time. In the documentary Gary Neville speaks about how resilient he is as a person.

"I think he's been a huge role model for many footballers growing up, especially in my era."

(For more sports news and updates, follow Ahram Online Sports on Twitter at @AO_Sports and on Facebook at AhramOnlineSports.)

Short link: