HE may be heroically worshiped in Tyneside, but for Allan Saint-Maximin, there is no greater god than the gods of Greek mythology.
A god of the Toon Army, the Newcastle winger grew up in Paris learning about legends.
From Zeus and his brothers Hades and Poseidon, to Athena, Ares and Apollo, they remained a passion for Saint-Maximin.
So much so that he invented a new card game in their honor called ‘Helios’ – named after the sun god.
Saint-Maximin, 24, told SunSport: “The inspiration came from Greek mythology. When I was a kid, I knew about Zeus and Athena and watched a lot of movies and cartoons starring them. When you start to understand it, you really love it. “
Having enjoyed great success with his comrades on long journeys, it took Saint-Maximin two and a half years to create Helios from scratch.
The project started after he indulged in board games with his young family.
He added: “I didn’t play many of them growing up – just playing card games like Uno.
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“But with my kids, I started playing more and really enjoyed them, so I thought about trying to make one.
“There is a lot of work, a lot of nights, because you need to come up with a new idea.
“I tested it with friends. We started playing small tournaments at home. It took two and a half years – but I’m really happy I didn’t stop.”
Not content with using his mythical dribbling ability on defenders, Saint-Maximin became entrepreneurial with this venture.
The electric winger made his Helios debut on Wednesday at the County hotel as Kieran Trippier did his medical five miles away at Newcastle’s training ground.
Forty Geordies were sent last minute invitations to play a tournament with amazing cash prizes on offer.
Frenchman Saint-Maximin spent nine hours teaching and educating fans about his game.
There’s finally time for autographs and photos – but for serious money, this is business.
A combination of risk and luck, with cards, dice and coins, the game’s tagline ‘Fortune favors the bold’ perfectly encapsulates a fearless footballer.
The winners were crowned 45 minutes later – and it was definitely worth the wait.
Third and fourth places picked up a bunch of cash, while second – a 12th grader at a local school – won £1,000.
“I pulled a sickle when the invitation came,” he said. I had a ‘doctor appointment’, but it was definitely worth the big bucks! “
The winner, a teenage girl, received £3,000 as well as a designer Louis Vuitton necklace and bag.
Saint-Maximin sold around 750 games for £55 each, raising £41,000. This money is given back to the ‘Helios community’ for members to win.
Wednesday’s event is the first – but the winger has plans to take Helios to London, Monaco and Dubai next.
An app is also in the works and Saint-Maximin is dreaming big ahead of tomorrow’s FA Cup third round home game against Cambridge United.
“A lot of people ask why I do it, and they say I have enough in life,” he said.
“But when I was young, it wasn’t easy – it was hard to buy clothes, eat at a good restaurant or go on vacation.
“We can now give others that opportunity through the Helios community. The more people we have, the more money we can raise.
“Imagine if we could make £1 million – that’s huge money to share!”
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/premier-league/4411451/newcastle-saint-maximin-board-game-greek-gods-helios/ Newcastle star Allan Saint-Maximin launches his own ISSUING GAME based on Greek gods as fans are invited to compete for cash prizes