Is Gareth Southgate going to follow in Sir Keir Starmer’s footsteps?
Just look at some of the sporting knighthoods awarded the last twenty-five years.
Sir Lewis Hamilton, Sir Andy Murray, Sir Alex Ferguson, Sir Bobby Robson, Sir Kenny Dalglish, Sir Geoff Hurst, Sir Mo Farah, Sir Bradley Wiggins, Sir Geoff. Boycott, Sir Andrew Strauss, Sir Alastair Cook, Sir Steve Redgrave, Sir Matthew Pinsent, Sir Clive Woodward, Sir Ian McGeechan, and Sir Ben Ainslie.
Looking at that not quite exhaustive list there’s a thread of them being (world) record breaking/world/European champions/Olympic winning athletes or coaches or a lifetime of achievement. Some of those knighthoods are a de facto lifetime achievement award sometimes coupled with some excellent off the field work, or a mixture of all the above.
I’m not sure Gareth Southgate’s achievements as a coach or as a person, impressive as they are, quite matches that august list. Getting to a world cup semi final and the final of the Euros doesn’t count.
I also think Gareth Southgate would be embarrassed to be offered a knighthood before he won a major tournament. He strikes me as the type of man who thinks getting past a semi after several decades of trying isn’t really worthy of an honour.
Gareth Southgate to be awarded a knighthood in 2021? Not for me, Clive.