The London Underground has decided to honour the success of England manager Gareth Southgate following the nation’s World Cup efforts.
For the next 48 hours, the Piccadilly line station in Enfield, north London, will be rebranded as ‘Gareth Southgate’.
Mark Wild, the London Underground managing director for Transport for London, told Sky Sports: “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.”
The 2018 English squad became the most successful British side in a World Cup campaign in the last 28 years, with the Three Lions reaching the semi-finals in Italy in 1990.
The spirit of the team captured the imagination of many across the country, riveting fans to the screens and the pubs as they chanted ‘it’s coming home’. Such optimism has been scarce among English fans in recent years after many disastrous international campaigns, despite possessing star-studded rosters.
Southgate, one of the tragic figures of the Euro 1996 campaign (having missed his spot kick in the penalty shootout against Germany in the semi-finals), was an enigma to English fans when he replaced Sam Allardyce in 2016. However, his successful leadership of a largely inexperienced squad has raised him to the status of a national hero.
Commentators and fans across the world praised the England manager for his set-piece work with the team and the positive yet aggressive group attitude that the players showed on the pitch.
Even Southgate’s classy attire, including the iconic waistcoat worn throughout the World Cup, captured the public’s attention leading to a reported 35% increase in Marks & Spencer’s waistcoat sales.