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‘I didn’t know he played football’ says Kobbie Mainoo’s neighbour as pals reveal all about Nando’s-loving humble teen

AN ENGLAND star’s neighbour didn’t even know he played football, The Sun can reveal.

Manchester United’s Kobbie Mainoo, 18, made an eye-catching midfield performance against Belgium at Wembley last night.

Kobbie Mainoo made an eye-catching midfield performance against Belgium at Wembley last night


Kobbie Mainoo made an eye-catching midfield performance against Belgium at Wembley last nightCredit: Alamy
But the Manchester United star's neighbour didn't even know he played football


But the Manchester United star’s neighbour didn’t even know he played footballCredit: Getty

But despite his £20,000-a-week job, Kobbie still lives with his dad Felix in a modest £370,000 semi — in a street where some neighbours have no idea who he is.

The family moved into the rented three-bedroom home around four or five years ago and Kobbie keeps himself to himself, with one neighbour saying: “I’ve got no idea who he is.”

Others talk proudly about having an England star in their midst, with another saying of the young star: “I remember him going to and coming home from school in his uniform.

“He was always a very smiley young boy. I say hello to Felix when I see him. They’re a nice family.”

A third neighbour, who is a friend of the family, added: “I’ve known Kobbie and his dad for years.

“Kobbie is a really nice boy from a really nice family – and he’s a really good ­footballer. He’s going to be a star.”

And those who know Kobbie say he is a down-to-earth lad who “takes everything in his stride”.

His first coach, Steve Vare, who mentored him as a four-year-old at Cheadle And Gatley FC, told The Sun: “He came from a lovely family — I used to have regular chats with his dad.

“I do know Kobbie is still in ­contact with his old school friends — he hasn’t lost sight of the fact he is very grounded.

“That is probably down to him coming from a loving, very stable family.”

Gareth Southgate presents Kobbie Mainoo, Anthony Gordon and Ezri Konsa with England caps after their debuts v Brazil

He is also powered by grub from Nando’s — one of his favourite treats.

He was recently spotted collecting a bag of food from his local branch in Altrincham, where he fist-bumped a member of staff who is a huge ­United fan.

One onlooker said: “Kobbie came in on his own with his hood up, but he got recognised straight away.

“He was a lovely lad and fist-bumped a ­member of staff. He seemed really nice and down to earth.”

Mainoo was handed his senior Red Devils debut in a cup tie against Charlton in January 2023.

Since recovering from an ankle injury, he has become a regular this season.

It comes as Jude Bellingham heaped praise on starlet Kobbie.

The wonderkid scooped the player of the match award for his composed performance in the 2-2 draw with Belgium.

After the match, during which he scored a last-gasp leveller, Bellingham was full of kind words for his new Three Lions team-mate.

The Real Madrid star said: “Kobbie Mainoo is very good.

Read more on the Irish Sun

“I know how hard it can be when there’s a clamour and people put a lot of pressure on you… but he’s definitely a brilliant player.

“He’s going to have an amazing future at Man United and hopefully for England as well.”

Kobbie playing for his school in Year 6


Kobbie playing for his school in Year 6Credit: facebook/Cheadle & Gatley JFC
His first ever coach, Steve Vare, who mentored him when the star was just four years old


His first ever coach, Steve Vare, who mentored him when the star was just four years oldCredit: Supplied

Incredible rise of Kobbie Mainoo

BY Amir Razavi

The ace — full name Kobbie ­Boateng Mainoo — was born on April 19, 2005 in Stockport, Gtr Manchester, and raised in the sleepy suburb of Cheadle Hulme.

Aged four, he began playing for local side Cheadle And Gatley under Steve Vare — who quickly spotted his incredible talent.

Kobbie left Cheadle And Gatley for Failsworth Dynamos before being asked to train with United and local rivals Man City.

He later opted for his beloved boyhood side United, joining the club aged seven — and was regarded as one of their best talents throughout his time in the academy.

Kobbie studied at Cheadle Catholic Infant School and St James’ Catholic High before moving on to Ashton-on-Mersey School under United’s scholarship programme.

One source said: “Kobbie was a very bright, very well-rounded young man and he finished with good grades.”

During his time playing for the Red Devils, Kobbie has won the FA Youth Cup and the club’s Jimmy Murphy Young Player Of The Year award for the 2022/23 season.

He signed his first professional contract on his 17th birthday – the earliest date a player can do so — and made his first team debut in the League Cup against Charlton Athletic last January.

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