Harry Maguire: England and Leicester defender on his rise from League One to a World Cup semi-final

Harry Maguire
Harry Maguire has made 11 starts and two substitute appearances for England

On 14 September 2013, Harry Maguire was part of the Sheffield United team that lost 1-0 at Carlisle in League One.

Fast forward five years and the 25-year-old Leicester City defender is set to walk out in front of his own club's fans in an England shirt at the King Power Stadium.

Maguire has gone from the third tier of English football to the World Cup semi-final in double-quick time.

In an interview with BBC Radio 5 live's senior football reporter Ian Dennis, Maguire discusses his meteoric rise as he prepares for his 14th appearance for the Three Lions in a friendly against Switzerland.

'I do pinch myself'

Maguire spent four seasons in League One with Sheffield United before signing for Premier League Hull City in July 2014 in a move worth £2.5m.

He joined the Tigers on the same day they signed left-back Andrew Robertson, now at Liverpool, from Dundee United for £2.85m.

Maguire stayed at Hull three years before joining Leicester in a £17m deal. His England debut came against Lithuania last October, and he has just signed a new five-year Leicester contract.

"Obviously the last five or six years of football, I do pinch myself," said Maguire.

"Playing in League One week in week out, then I get an England Under-21 call-up and I'm pinching myself with that.

"Then playing in Premier League, you pinch yourself again.

"The ladder just keeps going. It's nice to sign a new deal at Leicester and to be rewarded for the great season we had last season as a team as well."

'Playing in League One helped shape me'

Maguire made his Sheffield United debut aged 18 towards the end of the 2010-11 season. The Blades were struggling in the Championship and were eventually relegated after finishing six points from safety.

Over the next three seasons he went on to make 129 League One appearances, and believes he would not have made it as far as he has without the experiencing lower-league football.

"To play in League One in every game when I was 18 was massive for my development," he said.

"It's something I'm very proud of. I have great memories and it was a great experience.

"If it didn't happen for me back then, I probably wouldn't be where I am now."

Harry Maguire
Harry Maguire (right), then aged 19, in League One action for Sheffield United against Coventry City in February 2013

'My family keep me grounded'

Maguire could be excused for allowing his rapid rise go to his head.

However, he said his family, friends and agent were all responsible for helping keep his feet on the ground.

"I'm really close to everyone. I support them all and they always support me and follow me around the country supporting me every game," he said.

"If I do ever get a little bit too big for my boots, they kick me straight back down. I'm a grounded lad and I just look forward to see what's going to happen in the future."

'England need to push on'

Maguire was involved in all seven of England's games at this summer's World Cup in Russia, scoring in the quarter-final win over Sweden.

He has established himself as a key member of Gareth Southgate's team.

"You can see what we are building," he added. "He is trying to put his style on the game. The big tournaments are the ones we are going to get judged on mainly.

Harry Maguire
Harry Maguire celebrates scoring Leicester's winner at Southampton on 25 August

"You see in the summer we performed, we got to a level where we reached a World Cup semi-final.

"People say you have got to be patient, but it was pretty soon in terms of reaching a World Cup semi-final from where we were at in recent years.

"I think we are just building as a team and the way we are playing and I think we can push on now."


Join the conversation

These comments are now closed.


Top Stories

Explore the BBC