England manager Gareth Southgate has been officially named as an ‘Honorary Yorkshireman’.
He was presented with the accolade at the White Rose Awards in Harrogate, the UK’s biggest annual celebration of tourism, which recognises the very best tourism businesses in Yorkshire.
The honour is presented by Welcome to Yorkshire to inspirational individuals who have made a big impact on Yorkshire, despite being born outside the county lines.
Back in the summer Gareth led the national team to its most successful performance in a World Cup for 18 years when England reached the semi-finals in Russia.
He is the third person to receive the honour, which was first awarded to Take That star Gary Barlow and his co-writer Tim Firth back 2015 for their contribution to Yorkshire culture with their production of Calendar Girls: The Musical.
Gareth, who was born in Watford, has lived near Harrogate in Yorkshire since 2001 when he moved here to be closer to his then club Middlesbrough.
Gareth Southgate said: “I’m very proud and very honoured. I’ve lived here longer than I’ve lived in any other part of the country, the values and friendliness of the people has been incredible. We love living here and have thoroughly embraced the Yorkshire way of life. It’s nice to be recognised in this way, I’m very proud.”
Sir Gary Verity DL, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire said: “I was delighted to present Gareth with this award. The way he led such a young and relatively inexperienced England side, full of Yorkshire players, to such a solid achievement in the 2018 World Cup was brilliant. His courage, determination and insistence on doing things his own way are all true Yorkshire qualities and we’re incredibly proud he’s made our county his home.”