Andy Milne, a beloved fan of England football and well-known Steve McClaren look-alike, has made a surprise appearance in Australia to cheer on the Lionesses ahead of the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup opening matches.
Andy gained viral fame during the 2022 World Cup in Qatar due to his infectious enthusiasm and resemblance to former English football player Steve McClaren. Now, he has been spotted near Sydney’s iconic Harbour Bridge, proudly holding a replica trophy and joining fellow England supporters for selfies, some of whom wore face masks resembling his look-alike.
Renowned as ‘that World Cup guy,’ Milne has been cheering on England in every Men’s World Cup since he was 19, but this is his first time attending a Women’s World Cup.
In a heartwarming gesture, Tourism Australia extended a warm welcome to Andy, inviting him to attend the tournament alongside his daughter Laila, 27, who is currently living in Sydney on a working holiday.
Hailing from Northwich, Cheshire, Andy has long been an advocate for women’s sports. He played a pivotal role in establishing the girl’s football team at The Grange School in Cheshire, ensuring his daughter Laila had the opportunity to participate.
Expressing his excitement about the trip, Andy 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 face Haiti in their first game on Saturday 20 July at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, Queensland.
Sally Cope, Tourism Australia’s Regional General Manager for UK & Northern Europe, expressed the country’s excitement, stating, “Sport is a big 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 stay in Australia for a week to support Sarina Wiegman’s Lionesses in their opening match and watch the Matildas take on Ireland’s Girls in Green on Thursday 20 July. He also had the opportunity to meet up with footy enthusiast TikToker @samanthajademiller in Sydney.