Andy Milne, a well-known England football fan and Steve McClaren look-alike, has made his way to Australia to cheer on the Lionesses ahead of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup opening matches.
Milne gained viral fame during the 2022 World Cup in Qatar due to his infectious enthusiasm and resemblance to former English football player Steve McClaren.
Spotting Milne near Sydney’s iconic Harbour Bridge, holding a replica trophy and joining England supporters for selfies, was a sight that delighted many, with some fans even wearing Steve McClaren look-alike face masks.
Famously known as “that World Cup guy,” Milne has been supporting England at every Men’s World Cup since he was 19 but has never attended a Women’s World Cup.
Responding to his passion, Tourism Australia extended a warm invitation for Andy to attend the Women’s World Cup alongside his daughter Laila, 27, who is currently living in Sydney on a working holiday.
Hailing from Northwich, Cheshire, Milne has long been a supporter of women’s sports. He played a role in establishing the girls’ football team at The Grange School in Cheshire, ensuring his daughter Laila could participate.
Expressing his excitement about the trip, Milne said, “My favourite thing about the World Cup is meeting new people in new places, and there’s no place more welcoming than Australia. Since the moment I landed, everyone I’ve met has been so wonderful, and I can’t wait to meet more locals, more fans, and soak up the positive, inviting atmosphere. This is my first Women’s World Cup, and I’m absolutely buzzing to be Down Under for it. It’s going to be incredible to watch England take on Haiti this weekend, and hopefully, football is coming home.”
England, the reigning European Champions, will play their first game against Haiti on Saturday 20 July at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Queensland.
Sally Cope, Tourism Australia’s Regional General Manager for UK & Northern Europe, said, “Sport is a significant part of Aussie culture, and we love how it brings people together. When we heard about Andy, someone who has been a passionate supporter of football for decades and derives so much enjoyment from meeting new people while cheering on his home country, we knew we had to invite him to come and say ‘g’day’ and be part of the Women’s World Cup.”
Andy will be staying in Australia for a week, supporting Sarina Wiegman’s Lionesses in their opening match and also watching the Matildas face Ireland’s Girls in Green on Thursday 20 July.
During his visit, Andy had the opportunity to meet up with avid football TikToker @samanthajademiller in Sydney.