Sibling rivalry that has helped forge football careers for trio of Maguires
The eldest of Sheffield's trio of footballing Maguire brothers says their fierce sibling rivalry has helped them build careers in football.
Joe Maguire, who has just signed a deal with Northern Premier League side Buxton, is the older brother of Hull City’s Harry and Chesterfield’s Laurence.
The 25-year-old, like Harry, began his footballing journey with Brunsmeer and then had a spell in the youth ranks of Scunthorpe United.
He and his brothers are all defenders.
But while Harry and Laurence’s careers have taken them to Hull and Chesterfield respectively, via Sheffield United, Joe has made a name for himself in non-league with the likes of Ilkeston, Nuneaton Town and Boston United.
The Maguires are not entirely unique, however.
Northallerton’s Dawson brothers are another example of a hat-trick of lads from the same family making an impact on the game.
Harry Maguire has been captained by former Spurs and England defender Michael Dawson at Hull City, for whom Andy Dawson also played almost 300 games.
Kev Dawson made 51 appearances for Chesterfield before ending up in non-league.
Once, during a stint as a Worksop Town player in the Northern Premier League, he admitted he still believed he was the best footballer in the family.
Joe Maguire can relate.
He and his brothers are every bit as competitive as grown men as they were in childhood.
“I’m exactly the same, I still feel I’m better than them both,” he said, laughing but not joking.
“When we’re playing amongst ourselves, having a kickabout it’s always competitive.
“It always has been and it’s probably why we are where we are, playing at quite a good level.
“Harry has always had competition from us and he’s gone on to bigger and better things, he got his opportunity and gone on to do very well.
“We all still compete, it’s always a battle, always close.”
Ever since they kicked a ball around on playing fields off Plumbley Hall Road near their Mosborough home, the Maguires have lived in a football bubble.
Youngest sibling Daisy, 16, has also played the sport for Handsworth.
You almost can’t imagine them talking about anything else when they’re all together.
Joe admits it can all get a little much.
“It’s a bit weird at times,” he said. “Some of the time, football is so big in our family that you just want to switch off from it. There will be times when we’re together around the table and you’ve had enough of talking about it.
“It’s that hectic in our family life.”
It’s evident in conversation with the first-born that he doesn’t mind discussing the upward trajectory of 24-year-old Premier League star Harry’s career.
Just don’t ask Joe what might happen next for the man the Tigers bought from the Blades for £2.5m – you might get short shrift.
“In the summer it’s nice to get away and just get on with your life, especially with Harry doing so well and being linked with a lot of clubs,” he said.
“Every time someone asks you where Harry is going you think you’ve had enough and you just want to get on with life away from football.
“Don’t get me wrong, we all love football, we live for it and watch everything on the tele but it’s still nice to switch off a little bit. It’s always on your mind. Harry can’t really ever switch off, playing in the Premier League.”
With Joe’s club Buxton setting out their stall to clinch the promotion to the National League North that has eluded them over the past few years and Chesterfield expected to sign a fresh deal with 20-year-old Laurence, it’s already looking like a positive summer for the Maguires.
But Harry’s near brush with an England call up and a reported host of Premier League suitors will make it even more interesting for the family.
Joe couldn’t be happier for his younger brother.
“I’m unbelievably proud, it’s just fantastic for our family and mum and dad are so proud,” he said.
“Sometimes it’s a bit surreal that Harry could have been playing for England in the next month, that he’s being linked with everyone.
“To hear things like that is fantastic, he’s just a normal lad from Sheffield.”
Having signed a deal with Buxton, celebrated the February birth of his son Jett and began taking exams to become a financial advisor, Joe has more than enough reasons to be content with his lot in life.
But do his eyes ever glow just a little green, now and again, watching Harry take the plaudits at the top level?
“People might think you get jealous but jealousy is the last thing I feel, I’m not that sort of person,” he insisted.
“It’s one of the best things in the world to have a brother who is doing so well.”