Gareth Southgate Comforted By His Wife In Empty World Cup Stadium
Last night, following England's defeat, manager Gareth Southgate looked like a pillar of strength. He comforted his group of young players, hugging and kissing each one.
Sort of like a father figure, their leader and reassurance when things hadn't turned out quite like they'd all hoped.
But who was there for the man himself when he needed comforting? His wife, that's who. Just the pair of them in an empty stadium having a moment. And it was pretty touching.
Southgate's wife, Alison, offered hsupport to her husband after England lost 2-1 to Croatia in the semi-final stage of the World Cup.
It really emphasises how much this defeat meant to the football manager but how strong he was for his team in those minutes after the game.
The Evening Standard reported how the 47-year-old football manager was pictured being comforted by his wife, while another photo showed him plant a kiss on his wife's cheek as he hugged her.
Southgate married 51-year-old Alison in 1997 and the couple have two children, 19-year-old daughter Mia, and 15-year-old son Flynn.
Many people have commented on the snaps - one social media user said: "Bless him, he's the best manager ever and he should give himself a huge pat on the back."
Another added: "At the end of the day sometimes that is all you need."
And a third commented: "They have given their all. They can hold their heads up and I hope they are given a hero's welcome when they get home."
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No one tell Piers Morgan that people have called them heroes, though, whatever you do. He's a little precious about that.
Southgate spoke words of encouragement into the ear of every player individually, patted them on the back and hugged them. And the pictures really do say a thousand words.
After the defeat, the waistcoat wearing wonder told BBC Sport: "There'll be a new benchmark and level of expectation.
"To become a winning team there are hurdles you have to overcame - and we've surpassed many of them.
"Many of our players have come of age on the international stage. A lot of teams who go on to win trophies lose in quarter-finals or semi-finals first.
"At the moment we all feel the pain of defeat. I don't think realistically we expected to be here. But once you're here and played as well as we did, you want to take those opportunities in life. The dressing room is a difficult place at the moment.
"I'm remarkably proud of the group of players - the reaction of the supporters compared to two years ago shows the country are proud of the way we played."
While Croatia play France in Sunday's final, England face Belgium in Saturday's third place play-off.
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