Gareth Southgate now more popular than Churchill as odds slashed on knighthood

11 July 2021, 11:43

Gareth Southgate appears to have become one of England's most popular figures
Gareth Southgate appears to have become one of England's most popular figures. Picture: Alamy

By Will Taylor

Gareth Southgate is thought of more favourably than Winston Churchill, according to new research.

Polling by Opinium shows 72% of UK adults have a favourable view of the England manager, who has become only the second manager to guide the country to the final of a major tournament.

His popularity even falls just short of the Queen's.

Southgate has won plaudits for his approach to leadership and composure.

Reports even say the odds on him being knighted have been slashed.

Read more: Jubilant England fans celebrate semi-final win over Denmark

Read more: England fan fired after being caught on TV pulling sickie to go to Euro semi-final

Opinium's research shows just 11% of UK adults held an unfavourable view of the gaffer.

That compares to Second World War leader Churchill, who is thought of favourably by 65% of adults and unfavourably by 22%.

The Queen is viewed favourably by 75% of those surveyed, compared to 18% who think of her negatively.

But all are dwarfed by the popularity of David Attenborough, who is thought of favourably by 83% of people. Just 10% had an unfavourable view of the national treasure.

Southgate's men take on Italy on Sunday and could make themselves the first England side to win a major international tournament since the 1966 World Cup.

England are in uncharted waters in the Euros, having never advanced beyond the final in their history.

Graeme Le Saux explains why Southgate was chosen as England manager

Southgate and the team will definitely be the subject of calls for a reward if they do overcome Italy – but they have already captured the nation's respect.

Millions have been tuning to watch them beat the likes of Croatia, Germany and Denmark en route to the final at Wembley.

The Sun reports Southgate is 2/1 to receive a knighthood in the next New Year Honours List after Ladbrokes slashed the price.

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