Gareth Southgate celebrates after England's semi-final triumph over Denmark
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Gareth Southgate is in line for a knighthood if England win the European Championship. Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling are also due upgrades to their existing honours in the event the Three Lions secure their first major trophy since the 1966 World Cup.
Telegraph Sport has been told that while the Euros is not the pinnacle of the international game, winning it would be viewed by those in charge of the honours system as being on a par with England’s Rugby World Cup and Cricket World Cup triumphs.
The former win in 2003 saw head coach Clive Woodward knighted, with the entire squad given CBEs, OBEs or MBEs.
Amid concerns too many sporting honours had been issued in the 2000s and early 2010s following England’s 2005 Ashes victory and various Olympic successes, the 2019 Cricket World Cup saw coach Trevor Bayliss receive only an OBE and just four key members of the squad decorated.
But Southgate’s complete transformation of the football team’s fortunes since their Euro 2016 humiliation by Iceland – including reaching World Cup and Nations League semi-finals – and the way in which he has sought to unite the country during a time of crisis is expected to be deemed worthy of a knighthood.
The only other England managers to have received the honour were 1966 World Cup mastermind Alf Ramsey and Bobby Robson, who took them to the 1990 semi-final – although his award in 2002 was for his wider contribution to the game.
Southgate was made an OBE in 2019 after becoming the first man since Robson to lead England to a World Cup semi-final, while Kane was given an MBE for winning the Golden Boot at the 2018 tournament. He and Sterling – who has only just received an MBE for services to racial equality – would also be in line for upgrades if the Three Lions win on Sunday.
Kane, the captain, would be seen in the same light as Martin Johnson and Eoin Morgan, both of whom got CBEs after respectively lifting the rugby and cricket World Cups. Sterling, meanwhile, has been England’s most influential player throughout the Euros.
Other gongs for members of the squad are also expected to be performance-dependent.
Anyone emulating Sir Geoff Hurst by scoring a hat-trick on Sunday would, for example, expect to receive immediate recognition for it. Hurst had to wait 32 years before being knighted for the feat.