England fans on Hartlepool street that shares Gareth Southgate's name are backing Three Lions for glory
England fans in Hartlepool believe football is coming home this weekend.
Ahead of the national team’s first major final in 55 years on Sunday night, the Mail spoke to fans on and around Southgate, on the Headland, sharing as it does the name of England manager Gareth Southgate
They all predicted a big win for the Three Lions against Italy at Wembley Stadium on Sunday night.
Brothers Terry and Keith Graham, who were out enjoying a morning stroll, were both feeling confident about the delayed Euro 2020 final.
Terry, 69, a retired railway manager, said: “I’m a big fan of England, I believe totally in the country not just football.
“I’m so proud that we have done so well after so many years in the doldrums. I’m feeling very confident about the final.”
Terry said he has mainly concentrated on watching England during the tournament, but also caught the second semi-final between Spain and Italy.
He added: “I was hoping Italy would win because I considered Spain were the superior side.
“But I’m very confident England will win against the Italians.”
Terry also praised boss Southgate, saying: “After a cautious start he’s letting the team play more open football.
"He’s allowing them to express themselves properly and he has instilled a good relationship amongst the players.
"They are playing as a team rather than individuals.”
Keith, 77, a retired barber from Hart Station, admitted he is not as knowledgeable about football as his brother, but has been increasingly drawn in as England have progressed through the tournament.
He said: “I saw the Denmark game and thoroughly enjoyed it. I think Gareth Southgate has done very well as manager.
"I will be watching the final at home. I think we will win by a goal. I would rather that than extra time and penalties.”
Michael Fahy, 68, whose partner lives on Southgate, also can’t wait and is predicting a 2-1 England win.
The retired welder said: “I’ve watched every game. I will be in one of the pubs early to watch it.
“We’re definitely going to win.”
He added: “I think Gareth Southgate is doing a good job. He was a good player in his day. I’m really looking forward to it.”