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11th Jul 2018

Gareth Southgate admits he couldn’t listen to Football’s Coming Home for 20 years

After two more games, it could be his favourite song of all time

Simon Lloyd

Football is, you may have heard, coming home

Gareth Southgate’s England side stand on the brink of history in Russia, a game away from their first World Cup final since 1966.

Their run to their semi-final against Croatia has seen the song Three Lions – from where the line ‘Football’s Coming Home’ originates – storm to number one in the charts, 22 years after it was released ahead of Euro 96. England were eventually knocked out of that tournament by Germany on a penalty shootout, Southgate the only man to fail with his spot kick.

Speaking ahead of Wednesday’s game in the Luzhniki, the England manager has now admitted the pain of his missed penalty meant he couldn’t listen to the song for two decades.

“Football’s Coming Home, as a song, I couldn’t listen to it for 20 years, frankly. It has a slightly different feel for me, but it’s nice to hear people enjoying it again.

“I would just walk out of the room. It is an anthem and has followed the team for a long time, but involved some difficult moments as well.”

Although he appeared to admit he’s still not a fan of the David Baddiel and Frank Skinner anthem, he also added that he can now at least tolerate listening to it.

“I don’t stick it on, it’s not on the playlist, but I can listen to it now.

“That [Euro 96] ended in disappointment and it’s nice to be able to put a different frame on it now,” he added.