16 things we loved about England’s World Cup: Southgate, you’re the one

Quick Reads

So, football isn’t coming home, and we’re gutted, but for any England fan the ride has been undeniably fantastic.

Unfancied by many, but ultimately loved by millions, the dream ended with a 2-1 extra-time defeat to Croatia, but it’s still a summer we’ll all remember for a long time.

Here are just a few of the highlights.

The ‘It’s Coming Home’ memes

We really did believe, didn’t we?

As the tournament went on, and England progressed, Three Lions got louder and louder, and so it should.

In fact, there’s hardly anything that hasn’t had the ‘it’s coming home’ treatment at some point on social media.

The weather

It’s been hot. Maybe too hot. Actually, nah, definitely not.

England get to the semi-finals of the World Cup and the country basks in sunshine. Beer gardens were full, barbecues were lit, sun cream has never been so freely used on English soil, it was beautiful.

We get knocked out and it’s cloudy again. Bloody weather.

*That* Gareth Southgate chant

Finally it’s acceptable to sing Atomic Kitten songs in public. You don’t know how long we’ve waited for that.

There’s just something about thousands of football fans telling a bloke in a waistcoat that he turns them on that is beautiful.

Mind you our Gareth, the father figure to a new generation of England heroes, has as much rhythm as your father after ten pints at a family wedding. We’ll let him off though!

Jordan Pickford

A national hero. None shall pass.

Just a few years ago Pickford was playing in the Conference for Darlington, now he’s established himself as England’s number one.

Calm on the ball, sh*t hot in the penalty shootout, a wall between the sticks. Have that, Thibault Courtois.

Harry Kane

OK, he fluffed his lines when it mattered most, but Harry Kane has well and truly proved himself as one of the best in the world during this tournament.

His hold-up play has been genuinely world class, and guess what it’ll mean if he wins the Golden Boot…

Jordan Henderson

He was bloody brilliant at times. Talk about a turnaround. From England scapegoat to England hero a player most people finally appreciate.

Henderson’s displays completed a turnaround in attitude to the Liverpool midfielder, and we couldn’t be happier.

Waistcoats are officially IN

Gareth Southgate, style icon. There’s something we never thought we’d say.

M&S saw a 35% increase in waistcoats sales, a national waistcoat day was declared, all because of one man. Incredible.

The stats are pretty remarkable.

Harry Maguire memes

He’s smooth.

Winning a shootout

“Own the process” is what our Gareth spoke about, and England finally did it against Colombia, winning a first-ever World Cup penalty shootout. Who thought they’d see the day?

Every training photo

Everyone just looked so happy.

Harry Maguire’s huge head

Corner. Maguire. Boooooom. 1-0 England.

The England fans

“Just got a beer ma… Ah sh*t, I’ll get another.”


Well, we weren’t going to argue with him, were we?

Winning with grace

No over the top celebrating, everything was done in a calm, measured manner. And that’s down to our Gareth.

The rubber chicken

What’s better for building team spirit than throwing a rubber chicken at each other after all?

A nation united

Forget Brexit, we were all one behind these lads.

Gareth Southgate for Prime Minister anyone?

More England

The five steps of Jordan Henderson’s season-long turnaround in reputation

The making of Harry Maguire: From Sheffield United to the World Cup

Michael Owen: The goal I scored against Argentina changed my life

Can you name every player capped by Gareth Southgate for England?