Statue of England football manager Gareth Southgate could be erected in his home town

A statue of England football manager Gareth Southgate could be erected in his home town, fans have demanded.

Hundreds have signed a petition calling for the “son of Crawley” to be remembered in the historic West Sussex market town.

Council leader Peter Lamb said: “We are not ruling anything out.

“I’m not committing to what will happen yet but we are certainly discussing some way of celebrating one of our town’s most illustrious former denizens.

“We are very proud of what he has done and we want to recognise that – what form that will take we are not sure yet.

“Obviously the scale of his success will effect the scale of his memorisation but we are fully behind it.

“I’ve been watching the World Cup – I’m generally pessimistic about everything but I’m getting increasingly excited about it and beginning to believe we can win.”

Southgate featured in his local paper Crawley Observer when he signed on to Crystal Palace FC aged 18.

And locals have been getting behind the former townsman as he leads the national squad to the semi-finals.

Mary Connor said: “We’re all rooting for you Gareth…. Crawley boy is going to bring it home!!!! Fingers crossed xx”

Jan Large added: “Well done to the Hazelwick boy, good luck England”.

Kelly Hearn gave us the only reason we needed on why England will win the World Cup. She posted: “He’s a Crawley lad, of course football’s coming home.”

Petra Flipper Thaddens simply said: “ITS COMING HOME!!!!” and Dave Taylor said: “Good luck and bring it home.”

@Leggy_Lynne tweeted: “So disappointed to see that Crawley has no banners around the town to wish our boy @GarethSouthgate good luck in the World Cup. Have some civic pride and celebrate the achievements of a Son of Crawley.”

But Dan Watts (@danwatts92) replied: “There might not be banners, but Gareth can be certain that during all the games every pub in Crawley sings loud and proud a chorus of ‘he’s one of our own.”

The petition on change.org was started yesterday (Mon) and has attracted over 500 votes.

It said: “Gareth Southgate and the ENGLAND Team have achieved far more than anyone expected them to at this World Cup.

“Gareth grew up in Crawley, where his parents still live and we at Spotted:Crawley believe the council should recognise his achievements with a statue of the man himself!

“Proposed locations are Broadfield Stadium Roundabout, The High St by RBS and Queens Square.”

Dean Clark·said” I’m signing because all hero’s should have one.”

Stuart Brock added: “Gareth’s a positive role model for kids getting into sport. Reflecting well on Crawley and paints the town in a positive light!

And Gary Taylor simply wrote: “Gareth Southgate is a legend.”

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