Harry Maguire changed his name from the one he was given at birth

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Harry Maguire’s forename is not the one he was given at birth.

The Manchester United defender is a familiar name to fans even outside of the Premier League. He joined the Red Devils in 2017 and delivered stellar performances for England at the 2018 World Cup, Euro 2020 and the 2022 World Cup.

But the 31-year-old’s actual name, given by his parents Alan and Zoe in 1993, is Jacob. Harry is merely his middle name, which he preferred to be called from an early age.

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The exact reason for Maguire’s preference is not clear. And it doesn't appear to be because of any family members sharing the name Jacob.

The former Leicester City and Hull City centre-back’s decision to go by his middle name is not shared by his siblings either. Both Joe and Laurence Maguire still use their actual first names.

But Maguire isn't the only England international, past or present, to actually be called something else. England No.1 Jordan Pickford’s surname was Pigford before his dad opted to change it in order to spare his blushes.

And ex-Manchester City star Joe Hart, who earned 75 caps for England between 2008 and 2017 as a shot-stopper, is actually named Charles Joseph John Hart. The BBC Euro 2024 pundit has a simpler explanation for opting for his middle name, however, using ‘Joe' to distinguish him from his father, also named Charles.

Harry Maguire is a household name
Harry Maguire is a household name -Credit:James Gill - Danehouse/Getty Images.

It's difficult to imagine anyone referring to either player now as Charles or Jacob. And it seems Maguire’s team-mates agree, having famously dubbed him "Slabhead" and "Dennis the Menace".

He was initially named in England's provisional 33-man squad for Euro 2024, with Gareth Southgate valuing his experience in major tournaments despite him missing United's last five games of the 2023/24 season. However, a persistent calf injury led to his heart-breaking exclusion from the final squad.

Writing on social media, Maguire said: "I am devastated not to have been selected to play for England at the Euros this summer. Despite my best efforts, I have not been able to overcome an injury to my calf.

“Maybe I pushed myself too hard, to try and make it. Simply, I am absolutely gutted. For me, representing England is the highest honour. It means everything to me.

"If I can't help the team as a player, I will support them as a fan along with the rest of the country. Go and win it boys. Next, I will return to the supervision of the Manchester United medical team in order to prepare for next season."