England’s coach Gareth Southgate has led the team to success it has not seen in some time, and his wife, Alison Southgate, has been there every step of the way. Gareth is a former professional soccer player, spending time on notable teams like Aston Villa and Crystal Palace. Gareth first represented England at the World Cup as a player back in 1998, and would later manage the 2018 team.
According to The Sun, Gareth and Alison have been married for 20 years. One of the things Gareth takes solace in is his family does not care about the results of the soccer matches. Gareth detailed his family’s unconditional support in his autobiography (via Daily Mail).
Neither does Alison fret too much about football, and this is how I like it. Regardless of the result, it is up to me to ensure that no one’s evening is ruined because of things that happened on a football field. The agonising waits until Alison and the kids are asleep.
Learn more about Gareth’s wife and children.
1. Alison Is Not a Big Fan of Soccer
Alison does her best to support her husband, but she does not attend every match. During the school year, it is sometimes difficult to attend with their family schedule. Alison has been in Russia to attend the 2018 World Cup matches. Those close to Alison admit she is not the biggest soccer fan. Gareth’s father, Clive Southgate, spoke with the Daily Mail about Alison’s support of his son.
“Actually, I don’t think Alison likes football very much,” Clive explained to Daily Mail. “Obviously she has to take an interest because it’s Gareth’s job, and she is always very supportive. She will sometimes go to Wembley for an international game — but not during the school term because she always puts the children first.”
2. The Couple Has 2 Children: Mia and Flynn
Gareth and Alison are the proud parents of two children, Mia (19) and Flynn (15). According to The Sun, Mia is a student at the University of Edinburgh, while Flynn attends school at Yorkshire. Despite the pressure that comes with being England’s manager, Gareth tries to make his family his first priority.
“Over the last couple of weeks I’ve just had a nice time spending it with the family though, and for me that’s important because my kids are 18 and 14, and their development is as important for me as anything else in my life,” Gareth explained to the Standard in a 2017 interview(via The Sun).
3. It Took Gareth 2 Years to Ask Alison Out on a Date
According to The Sun, the couple met while Gareth was playing for Crystal Palace. He was a regular customer at a local clothing store where Alison worked, but she did not know she was the reason he kept returning to shop. Finally, after two years of shopping, he mustered up enough courage to ask Alison on a date.
Unfortunately, she was dating someone at the time. They eventually started dating, but tried to keep their relationship a secret at first. The Sun detailed how their relationship started.
The footballer, who was often mocked for his big nose, used to pretend to be visiting the shop to add to his wardrobe – but it was really the pretty blonde behind the till he was there for.
And it took him two long years to pluck up the courage to actually ask her out. But unfortunately for Gareth, she was living with a boyfriend at the time. So it would be even longer until they got together. In his book, Gareth says in the early days, they used to sneak to a Tesco car park for dates to keep their new relationship secret from her ex.
4. Alison Helped Gareth Get Through His Missed Penalty Kick After the 1996 Euros
England fans are not typically big fans of penalty kicks. The final tiebreaker has plagued England in international tournaments. Gareth missed a key penalty kick at the 1996 Euros that helped Germany defeat England in the semifinal, and Alison was there to help him through the difficult time.
His fiancee wept in the stands but, with typical stoicism, quickly composed herself and helped him through his darkest hours. Alison was terrific,’ goalkeeping coach Andy Woodman, one of Southgate’s closest friends, once revealed. He recalled how she comforted Southgate and downplayed the enormity of his error by nonchalantly remarking: ‘F—–g football. It gets on my nerves.’
Alison was also on hand to see Gareth get a bit of redemption as England advanced over Colombia to the 2018 World Cup quarterfinals thanks to penalty kicks.
“It was a great moment to be around your staff and people you care about,” Gareth explained to USA Today. “We have made a lot of people back home very happy. My miss is something that will live with me forever. But this was a special moment for this team, and in life we must not be hindered by limitations of what we think is possible.”
5. The Couple Got Married at Parish Church of St. Nicholas, Crawley in 1997
The couple would eventually start dating out in the open and moved towards marriage. Gareth and Alison got married at the Parish Church of St. Nicholas in 1997. Some family members worried the couple was moving too fast, but things seemed to have worked out. The Daily Mail detailed their big wedding day.
The new couple only became truly settled that summer, when Southgate was transferred to Aston Villa and they set up home in Birmingham. They were married at a church near his family home in Crawley, in 1997. Alan Smith, Southgate’s ex-manager at Palace and a close friend, says the ceremony was low-key with only a few football friends among the guests.
It rained and the weather reflected his parents’ mood. For Clive and Barbara Southgate barely knew Alison, having met her once before they began living together, and, as he says, were ‘taken aback’ by the haste with which their usually cautious son had proposed.
Gareth’s responsibilities increased as the couple’s relationship continued, first with two children, and now with coaching the national team. Gareth admits to finding it difficult, at times, to find the right balance.
“You do have to try to find a balance because my focus inevitably gets drawn towards making this team as successful as we can and driving them to be the best team in the world,” Gareth explained to the Standard (via The Sun). “But I’m also a dad and a husband.”