Maidstone United backed to spring big FA Cup shock and beat Coventry by World Cup icon

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WORLD CUP icon Roger Milla is backing Maidstone United to create extra FA Cup magic.

The Nationwide League South minnows are within the final 16 of the FA Cup at Championship promotion-chasing Coventry on Monday night time.

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George Elokobi celebrates with Maidstone after dumping out Ipswich
Cameroon World Cup icon Roger Milla in action against England in 1990 quarter-final

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Cameroon World Cup icon Roger Milla in motion towards England in 1990 quarter-final

And Stones boss and former Wolves star George Elokobi, 38, has acquired a specially-recorded video message from his childhood hero again dwelling in Cameroon.

He advised SunSport: “It was to congratulate me. That is what the magic of the FA Cup does. 

“He advised me he had been watching us and to proceed working laborious.

“He is aware of I have been doing effectively for Cameroon and flying the flag excessive. He needs to want us effectively for the subsequent spherical of the FA Cup.

“And he additionally wished to want me good well being and to maintain working laborious, hold creating and hopefully at some point I’ll be capable to assist the nation.”

Milla, 71, had his message performed to him throughout a televised BBC Sport function.

He’s amongst numerous high-profile Cameroon stars to have reached out to Elokobi after he led the group previous League Two Barrow and League One Stevenage at their Gallagher Stadium – earlier than gorgeous Championship promotion contenders Ipswich at Portman Highway.

Requested who else, he mentioned: “I don’t need to hold name-dropping however fairly a number of! 

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Roger Milla was famed for his goal celebration dance during Italia 90

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Roger Milla was famed for his aim celebration dance throughout Italia 90

“Sebastien Bassong who used to play for Spurs, these are good mates of mine. 

“Alex Music who used to play for Arsenal, we go fairly a method again, he has reached out as effectively.

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“I’m good mates with Enoh Eyong who performed for Ajax, and he mentioned congratulations.

“So a number of them have advised me that it’s unbelievable to see what I’m doing, the transition I’ve made now into turning into a supervisor and flying the flag excessive for them as effectively.”

Elokobi, who solely turned a supervisor final 12 months, was emotional when he watched Milla’s message as reminiscences of his childhood got here flooding again.

Though solely four-and-a-half, he remembers vividly watching his hero virtually beat England single-handedly within the 1990 World Cup quarter-final earlier than the Three Lions prevailed 3-2 in an epic.

The Maidstone boss mentioned: “We needed to pay cash to get into somebody’s home and had been in there in our numbers watching the sport on TV.

“We thought we had nicked it and had an opportunity. It was an unbelievable time. He was such an inspiration after I was that younger. I can keep in mind and see myself in that second.

“So to see his message simply takes me again to 1990 after I was a younger child when soccer was the one factor to do. It’s unbelievable to assume he’ll be supporting me and Maidstone.”

Elokobi’s journey has been a unprecedented rags-to-riches story. 

Former Arsenal star Alex Song is also cheering on Maidstone

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Former Arsenal star Alex Music can also be cheering on Maidstone
As will ex-Spurs ace Sebastien Bassong, who is a good friend of Elokobi's

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As will ex-Spurs ace Sebastien Bassong, who is an efficient good friend of Elokobi’s

His dad Martin died of diabetes when he was ten and the teen typically went with out meals, having to scavenge for meals out of trash cans – looking birds, consuming snakes and digesting unwashed uncooked potatoes from the bottom.

His mum Irene left him and his 12 older siblings in Cameroon as she sought work within the UK to assist higher help her household earlier than transferring Elokobi over to review when he was 16.

The remainder is historical past as he bought noticed by Colchester taking part in for Dulwich Hamlet aged 18 and he went on to play for Wolves within the Premier League – together with scoring in a win towards Manchester United.

No matter occurs tonight, Elokobi and Maidstone have written an inspirational story.

And he mentioned: “I’m simply doing my job. I’m right here to empower everybody round my setting – everybody that’s beneath the Maidstone umbrella. 

“Sure, my title is the supervisor, I perceive that but additionally my job is to attempt to give everybody that freedom to develop themselves and empower everybody to take pleasure in working beneath me.

“I are available day-after-day eager to make individuals’s day higher so for me it’s not simply soccer, it’s larger.

“It’s in regards to the setting you create: once you see somebody within the morning, are you able to give them a hug or a handshake, simply to brighten their day up? 

“After which we are able to have a look at the day in entrance of us however sure, it’s vital that I hold inspiring so many individuals and provoking non-league groups.

“That’s a part of my job too, to point out everybody on the market that it’s potential – if we are able to do it at Maidstone then hopefully at some point, one other membership on the market can do it as effectively.”

The Stones, who reformed after going bankrupt whereas within the Soccer League in 1992, have made round £450,000 from this season’s FA Cup run to date – and are hoping to reinvest most of it into revamping their 4,200 stadium.

George Elokobi shows his Maidstone team has it is done in training

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George Elokobi exhibits his Maidstone group has it’s achieved in coaching
The former Wolves star has led Ipswich to the last 16 of the FA Cup

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The previous Wolves star has led Ipswich to the final 16 of the FA Cup



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