In years to come, we’ll reflect on this time and the 2018 World Cup as the Summer of Southgate – if you’re an England fan anyway!
Bored stiff of our political leaders, many of us turned instead to the dignified, modest manager of the England squad for guidance.
We admired Gareth Southgate’s humility, his classic waistcoats, and his quiet yet infectious confidence in his young team.
Even though we ‘only’ came fourth in the World Cup in Russia, Brits – young and old – took a very personal pride in the England team, as well as their manager; who’d brought us excitement and hope once more.
As a former @England player, I wanted to say how proud I am of what @GarethSouthgate and his team accomplished this @FIFAWorldCup. I'm sure the players will be disappointed not to have reached the final, but there is so much to be hopeful about for the future.
— Sir Bobby Charlton (@SirBobby) July 12, 2018
Now, following the tournament’s end, the 47-year-old is being honoured in a quintessentially English manner, through the medium of public transport.
As of the morning of Monday, July 16, Southgate Tube station was renamed Gareth Southgate station, marking England’s greatest achievement in a World Cup, since 1990.
This rebrand – on the Piccadilly line – will only last until the end of Tuesday, July 17, but still, it’s a rather lovely pick-me-up for any heavy hearted England fans.
Transport for London tweeted:
Next stop – Gareth Southgate!
To celebrate the achievements of the @england men’s football team this summer, TfL & @VisaUK have temporarily renamed Southgate station on the @piccadillyline.
Why not come down and post a #SouthgateSelfie.
Next stop – Gareth Southgate! To celebrate the achievements of the @england men's football team this summer, TfL & @VisaUK have temporarily renamed Southgate station on the @piccadillyline. Why not come down and post a #SouthgateSelfie pic.twitter.com/n8tR70qitd
— Transport for London ? (@TfL) July 16, 2018
Someone beat you to it. This was last week pic.twitter.com/5AqeXOc4l2
— JaneV (@mulberryjane) July 16, 2018
We made our own! A few weeks back pic.twitter.com/gMxyb980b1
— Carly vassar (@VassarCarly) July 16, 2018
— Nat SatOutSide (@satoutside) July 16, 2018
Commuters in Enfield, north London, have been delighted by this splendid tribute to the well-loved manager.
One person remarked, ‘well played!’ while another remarked, ‘this is class!’
One Twitter user noted:
He’s a true gent soon you will need to add sir in front. [sic]
— Regina (@MidwifeRegina) July 16, 2018
— Joanne Fry (@Joannemfry) July 16, 2018
Does that mean the intercom on the train will say 'The next station is Gareth Southgate'?
— Toby Skinner (@TobyRSkinner) July 16, 2018
TfL’s London Underground managing director, Mark Wild said:
The great performance of the England team this summer brought people of all ages together in celebration.
We’re delighted to be able to show our appreciation to Gareth and the team by renaming the station in his honour.
This is another great example of how we, and brands, can work creatively together.
— ____________________ (@ismini) July 16, 2018
He a true gent soon you will need to add sir in front
— David Greenaway (@dgreenaway2) July 16, 2018
Speaking after England were defeated by Croatia in the semi-finals, Southgate said:
There were low expectations this time which relieved the pressure,
But there was still pressure to get out of the group, win a knockout game, win a penalty shootout.
The players coped brilliantly with that. You have to cope with expectation if you want to play for England.
We’ve raised expectation but that is OK because we’ve also raised belief.
Well said. Looking forward to Qatar 2022, not to mention, Euro 2020. There’s still plenty of reason to put our hopes in the England team!
Gareth Southgate leaves his final #WorldCup press conference to a round of applause after ending it with a thank you to Russia for the excellent way they've hosted the tournament and the media for their fair coverage. #ThreeLions
— Andy Walker (@_andywalker_) July 14, 2018
— Freddie Burns (@FreddieBurns) July 12, 2018
Congratulations France, worthy winners!?Croatia can hold heads high, impressive throughout. Congratulations to Russia for hosting a stupendous tournament, I’ve loved it! Thank you England for giving us hope & belief and thank you Gareth Southgate for leading us with class ? pic.twitter.com/cRElpYKhsQ
— Lynsey Hipgrave (@lynseyhipgrave1) July 15, 2018
French fans have also been busy renaming landmarks after their World Cup victory.
False street signs changed the fancy Champs-Élysées into the Deschamps-Elysees, to celebrate their coach, Didier Deschamps, leading the national side to World Cup glory.
The Place de l’Etoile is also being referred to as the Place de deux Etoiles, with the French now being allowed to wear a coveted second star on their kit.
— Air Force Swann ⚡️ (@AirForceSwann) July 16, 2018
— Nicolas Schaeffer (@nico_schaeffer) July 15, 2018
What a great welcome home for the lads on both sides of the channel following their return from Russia.
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Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.