Gareth Southgate dedicates OBE to England football team

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Gareth Southgate has dedicated his OBE to the England football team and said it was a “privilege” to be their manager.

The 48-year-old said he had not realised how much the side meant to the country until he led England to their first World Cup semi-final since 1990.

The national football team manager collected his honour from the Prince of Wales at Buckingham Palace on Thursday, a week after England striker Harry Kane was awarded an MBE.

Southgate described receiving the award as a “proud moment” and added: “Of course I’m aware that the recognition is as much for last summer and the work with the team, so I’m very grateful to all of the players and all the support team that work with me, because I’m here representing them, really.”

The England team reached the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup in Russia – the first time in nearly three decades, but were knocked out by Croatia.

Their progress created excitement across the country and defied expectations.

The manager said it was a ‘privilege’ to take on the England role

 

Southgate had not expected to receive an honour when he took on the role, saying: “I think it’s a privilege to have the role and you hope to improve the team and make a difference, and we are getting better.

“And I think along the way we’re bringing a lot of enjoyment to people, which is great, so we’ve got to make sure we keep doing that.

“You don’t realise how much it means to people in the country until you experience what we did and what we are experiencing now as the team continues to improve, and that is unique with a national team.

“You’re representing everybody and we take that responsibility very seriously, but also we want everybody to have fun and enjoy the ride as well.”

The former Middlesbrough defender was among 100 people who were awarded honours on Thursday.

He added that he had spoken to the Prince of Wales about knife crime at a previous event, and they had discussed it again briefly during his visit to Buckingham Palace.

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