Gareth Southgate reveals Prince William did something special for the England players after their defeat

Prince William, the Earl of Strathearn pays a visit to the BAE Systems shipyard to observe construction of HMS Glasgow
(Image credit: Photo by Andrew Milligan - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

England manager Gareth Southgate has revealed Prince William made a very special gesture for England’s players after their defeat to Italy in the Euros final.

England manager Gareth Southgate and his team were left devastated after England lost to Italy on penalties during Sunday’s Euros 2020 final. This marked the first time the England football team had reached a major final in 55 years. Wishing the team good luck, the Queen wrote a special letter to Gareth (opens in new tab) ahead of the match, whilst her grandson Prince William, Kate Middleton and their son Prince George cheered the players on at Wembley. 

And their presence there certainly delighted many fans, with an adorable video of Prince George being dubbed “the best bit” (opens in new tab) of the match. Following the match, Prince William, who is President of the Football Association, congratulated Italy’s manager graciously on Twitter, whilst expressing his pride at the England players’ performance. 

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@England, you’ve all come so far, but sadly this time it wasn’t our day.  You can all hold your heads high, and be so proud of yourselves — I know there’s more to come’, he wrote. 

Though this wasn’t the only wonderful gesture the Duke of Cambridge made to the England team. As revealed by Gareth Southgate, the future king also made a surprise visit to see the team after their defeat.

“The players have given absolutely everything and I’m very proud of them. They can hold their heads up high,” Gareth said. “The Duke has been down to see them. He thanked them for what they have done and was fulsome in his praise.”


The England manager also accepted responsibility for the decisions regarding who was to take the penalties, saying, “It’s down to me. I decided on the penalty-takers based on what they’ve done in training, and nobody is on their own”. 

“Our players have done themselves proud, every one of them has been exceptional,” he later added. 

Knowing he was there cheering them on throughout their recent matches, the team were likely very touched to hear the Duke’s words of comfort. This comes as Prince William recently declared himself “sickened” by racist abuse aimed at England’s football players following the final. 

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Taking to Twitter to condemn the appalling racist abuse and online trolling some have aimed at the players, William wrote, ‘I am sickened by the racist abuse aimed at England players after last night’s match.

It is totally unacceptable that players have to endure this abhorrent behaviour. It must stop now and all those involved should be held accountable. W’. 

The FA have also issued a statement in response to the discriminatory abuse following the Euros final.

'We will do all we can to support the players affected while urging the toughest punishments possible for anyone responsible,' they declared.