Crowds of young children filled their school playground, cheering with excitement that one day they could achieve as much as Gareth Southgate.
The youngsters have at least one thing in common with the manager of England’s World Cup team – they attended the same school – and they’re very proud of it.
After hearing rumours the former footballer went to Padnell Infant School in Waterlooville, Hampshire, staff scoured its archives and found he was in fact on the admissions register from 1976 – having started on January 7 that year.
Mandy Grayson, Padnell Infant School’s headteacher, said: “We became aware of the link after seeing a post on a Facebook group, so staff started searching the internet and archives to find out if Gareth went to Padnell.
“The admissions register from 1976 confirms his attendance at our school and when we told the children, excited screams filled the classroom – they’re happy about this.
“Sport brings the nation together and through his leadership Gareth has grown a team the nation can be proud of, and we’re proud to have his name attached to our school.
“Knowing he went to Padnell has given the children the belief they can achieve anything, providing they follow our school values.’
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Originally published on our sister title, The News