The greatest motivation, a bit of top class man management and Harry Maguire’s honourary Spireite status

Harry Maguire and his brother Laurence, who plays for Chesterfield, returned to St Mary's Catholic High School earlier in the year.
Harry Maguire and his brother Laurence, who plays for Chesterfield, returned to St Mary's Catholic High School earlier in the year.

Harry Maguire is going to need a better disguise when he comes to the Proact Stadium next season.

The England centre-half has rocketed to national treasure status since the World Cup began thanks to his defensive heroics, calmness on the ball and that bullet header in the quarter-final.

If the Three Lions do actually go on and win it, Maguire might not actually be able to do what he did on a number of occasions last season – sit in the West Stand and cheer on his Spireite brother Laurence.

For one particular home match during Chesterfield’s 2017/18 campaign, the Leicester City centre-half was in attendance with a scarf pulled up around his face and a hat pulled down to just above the eyes – but there’s little disguising that very recognisable profile.

Next season it’ll have to be the posh directors’ seats and a safe place in the boardroom, or we’ll face match abandomnents as stands empty in search of autographs and selfies.

As Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins quite rightly pointed out on Twitter this week, every man and his dog will be proclaiming Maguire as their best friend, having once nodded hello to him in the British Oak pub in Mosborough.

Everyone will want a piece of Harry and his siblings, upon their return from Russia – whenever that is.

But there’s nothing wrong with basking in a little reflected glory.

Who wouldn’t want to be associated with Gareth Southgate’s hard working down-to-earth bunch that have made the country so proud?

At a time when England seems so divided politically, there’s a genuine sense of togetherness thanks to Maguire and co.

So tell your stories about your workmate’s cousin who once played against him at Under 12s, or the time you stood behind him at the checkout queue in ASDA, tell them with unashamed pride.

Spireites have an association that is a lot less tenuous, however.

England’s number six was educated in Chesterfield, don’t you know?

But better than that, one Maguire is a Spireite, which makes all the Maguires Spireites.

Every time Chesterfield play, unless it’s against eldest brother Joe’s Gainsborough Trinity or Harry’s Leicester – for as long as the Foxes can keep him – the whole Maguire clan are right behind Town.

It would be quite something for Laurence to return to the Proact dressing room bringing a little World Cup glory back with him.

As Joe once said, the progress all three brothers have made in the men’s game has been significantly aided by their sibling rivalry.

Joe and Laurence have played a big part in Harry’s success and therefore he’ll share it with them.

Thanks to a top class bit of man management, Laurence has remained out in Russia this week and could come back next week on the biggest high of his life.

In the unlikely case that he required any further motivation to work hard and do well in football, what could be better than seeing your big brother help England to a World Cup triumph?

The 2018/19 campaign is one that presents a real opportunity to the Town academy product.

Yes, he faces a battle to earn regular first team football against the more experienced Michael Nelson and Will Evans, but few would doubt his ability to play and play well at this level.

Expect him to push his fellow central defenders very hard for a starting place because upon such a special summer, a special season could be built.

Martin Allen has shown that his claims about caring for his players are true, not just by granting Laurence time off to travel out there, miss friendlies and training, to support Harry.

But by including the rest of the squad in the decision, he’s done two other very important things.

One, the other players get to feel valued, feel a part of it all, having a say in the decision to allow a team-mate to experience something so monumental.

And two, he’s removed from Laurence any niggling concern or doubt that he may have lost any dressing room favour by missing sessions this week.

His boss and work colleagues are backing him and backing his big brother.

It’s a gesture that won’t go unnoticed or unappreciated and could spur the 21-year-old on to give even more effort for his Spireite brothers next season.

He certainly owes the gaffer one.

It’s fair to say no one connected to Chesterfield Football Club wants to see him on the team-sheet for the trip to Boston United on Saturday.

All of Boston will probably concur.

For if Laurence is still out of the country come Saturday afternoon, it might just mean it’s coming home.