Gareth Southgate, the manager of the England national team, has been hailed as a national hero for guiding the nation to World Cup success with patience and humility. Known for his remarkable skills as one of England's greatest footballers, the 53-year-old England leader has showcased his managerial prowess while reviving the waistcoats trend. With a remarkable football managing career that began in 2006 as the boss of Middlesbrough club, here are some interesting facts to know about him.
Born on September 3, 1970, in Watford, Hertfordshire, Gareth Southgate spent his early years attending Padnell Infant School in Cowplain, Hampshire.
In 1988, Southgate kick-started his career with Crystal Palace, where he initially played as a right-back before transitioning to a central midfield role. He became captain and led the club to victory in the 1993–94 First Division championship.
During his time at Crystal Palace, he earned the nickname 'Nord' due to his exacting and articulate manner of communication, which reminded one of the coaches of the renowned English comedy writer and TV presenter, Dennis Norden.
Throughout the UEFA Euro 1996, he was a constant presence on the field for England. However, his penalty miss in the semi-final led to their elimination.
After his penalty miss, Southgate embraced his mistake by participating in a Pizza Hut advert that included Stuart Pearceand Chris Waddle, both of whom had their own memorable penalty misses during the 1990 FIFA World Cup.
Southgate made a significant move on 11 July 2001 when he transferred to Middlesbrough for a fee of £6.5 million.
In December 1995, Southgatemarked his debut for England as a substitute against Portugal. His consistent presence on the field continued as he played every minute of England's matches during UEFA Euro 1996, leading to a semi-final encounter with Germany.
Chairman Steve Gibson chose to name Southgate as the successor to McClaren, ensuring his commitment through a five-year contract as the Middlesbrough manager.
Following a four-year absence from the sport, Southgate made a managerial comeback by signing a three-year contract on 22 August 2013 to succeed Stuart Pearce as the new manager of the England under-21 squad.
Gareth Southgate was placed in temporary charge of the senior England team on 27 September 2016. At the time, England was in the early stages of their qualifying journey for the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Southgate's tenure as interim manager concluded on 15 November, and he was officially named the permanent England manager when he signed a four-year contract two weeks later, on 30 November 2016.
In 2003, Gareth Southgate and his lifelong friend Andy Woodman co-authored 'Woody & Nord: A Football Friendship’. This book delves into the enduring bond formed during their shared journey in the Crystal Palace youth team.
At the 2006 World Cup, Southgate took on the role of co-commentator alongside Clive Tyldesley for ITV, providing commentary for the group-stage games. However, due to his managerial responsibilities at Middlesbrough, he could only participate in the first half of the month-long tournament.
In addition to the nationwide criticism of his penalty against Germany, Southgate's mother offered her advice, questioning why he didn't simply give it a good strike.
In July 1997, Southgateand Alison Bird exchanged wedding vows at St Nicholas's Church in Worth. They are now proud parents of two children.
Gareth Southgate and his family have been residents of Harrogate, North Yorkshire, since the early 2000s, and they own multiple homes in and around the town.
Starting from the 2018 World Cup, England fans adopted the chorus from the 2001 hit single "Whole Again" by the English pop girl group Atomic Kitten as a chant for Southgate.
Ahead of the semi-final match against Croatia, supporters paid homage to Southgate's iconic waistcoat by wearing similar attire. England’s team manager had become known for wearing waistcoats during England's matches, leading to a remarkable 35% surge in waistcoat sales from the retailer Marks & Spencer.
His tenure as England team’s manager at UEFA Euro 2020 marked a historic moment as he became the first since 1966 to lead the team to a European Championship final.