Should Gareth Southgate be given the freedom of West Sussex?
There are calls for West Sussex County Council to follow the lead of Councillors in Middlesbrough and give England manager Gareth Southgate the Freedom of the county in recognition of the “joy” spread by his team.
Southgate grew up in West Sussex and went to Hazelwick School in Crawley
He has been praised for his leadership of the England team both on the pitch – taking them to the final of the Euros for the first time – and off it, with his stance against racism.
During his football playing days the 50-year-old former defender was taken to the hearts of Teessiders, playing and managing the club, winning the only trophy in the clubs history when he was skipper.
He was captain of Middlesbrough when they won the League Cup in 2004.
At a full council meeting this week, councillors agreed to bestow him with the honour, agreeing with a resolution which said: “After some of the most difficult and tragic 18 months this country has faced, this England football team led by Gareth Southgate has given everyone some much needed hope and joy.
“In difficult times, Gareth Southgate has united England with his unifying presence, leadership and quiet charisma.
“As a former captain and manager of Middlesbrough Football Club, Gareth has a unique connection with our town.
“This council believes it is fitting to award him the Freedom of the Borough.”
Southgate, born in Watford growing up in West Sussex, now lives in Harrogate, North Yorkshire.