The fans that jeered midfielder Jordan Henderson, according to England defender Harry Maguire, “aren’t England fans.”
Both when Henderson entered the game on Tuesday in the 3-1 victory over Italy in the Euro 2024 qualifying round and when he was replaced in the Friday 1-0 friendly victory over Australia, he was jeered.
Henderson, a former captain of Liverpool, faced backlash after signing with Al-Ettifaq in Saudi Arabia this summer.
“Proper England fans don’t boo players,” said Maguire.
“Don’t boo players who dedicate their life to play and do everything they can to make this country have good memories and have special moments for them and their families.”
During his tenure at Liverpool, Henderson was an outspoken supporter of the LGBTQ+ community. However, some supporters and LGBTQ+ activists criticized Henderson for relocating to Saudi Arabia, a country where it is illegal to engage in same-sex relationships.
Following the Australia match, England manager Gareth Southgate remarked, “It defies logic” that supporters jeered captain Henderson, who responded by saying he had to take the criticism “on the chin”.
When Henderson entered the game against Italy in the 70th minute off the bench, he was met with a slightly more welcoming reaction.
“You heard when he came on the cheers and a few jeers, but they aren’t England fans,” Maguire added.
Over the past year, fans of Manchester United and England have jeered Maguire.
Last month, Southgate called Maguire’s comments “a joke,” and his mother Zoe called the mistreatment he has endured “disgraceful.”