England Manager Gareth Southgate is truly the man of the moment.
The 50-year-old strategic mastermind has led the Three Lions into the semi-finals of Euro 2020, raising hopes that football may, actually, be coming home.
The national team stormed to victory on Saturday, enjoying a thumping 4-0 win against Ukraine to make it into the next round of the tournament.
And while many fans focused on the skills of the game’s double-goal scorer Harry Kane, others had something else on their mind.
Scores of Twitter users were distracted by musings on what it would be like to date Southgate, admitting that he had swiftly become their “middle-aged crush”.
Comedian Medeleine Brettingham set the trend in motion by envisaging the manager eating a scotch egg in “dignified silence” as he waited for her in the car.
Gareth Southgate is the ultimate middle-aged crush. I just want him to drive me to a colonoscopy appointment then s… https://t.co/RNaPqJKlit— Madeleine Brettingham (@Madeleine Brettingham) 1625231751
Fellow admirers soon piled in to offer their own wistful imaginings. Here’s a look at some of the best:
@littlemaddles He’d hang the washing *properly* making sure not to stretch the shoulders of your cardigan, and use… https://t.co/rodIkd3ehZ— Wear your face mask (@Wear your face mask) 1625375334
@littlemaddles At the end of the last game I had a vision of him going to pick his partner up from work afterwards.… https://t.co/GgD0omDOnA— Alex O'Donnell (@Alex O'Donnell) 1625352273
@littlemaddles I can see him using his day off to re-point the patio, even though you said to get someone in to do… https://t.co/rNE7Yl16Y9— Lily Joseph (@Lily Joseph) 1625342189
@littlemaddles Straping the christmas tree to the roof rack of the car ( a sensible Ford Focus), giving the bungy c… https://t.co/S2pwNogGAk— The infinite purple frog (@The infinite purple frog) 1625354141
@littlemaddles He'd definitely notice if your nail varnish hadn't cracked a week after applying and say "your nails… https://t.co/ZTEDpUEG4b— Charlotte Wilson 💙 (@Charlotte Wilson 💙) 1625381627
@littlemaddles Gareth would put all the cutlery pointing the same way in the cutlery drawer. And he’d hang the tes… https://t.co/LX9PcBBPS2— Mikey Robinson (@Mikey Robinson) 1625382094
@littlemaddles For me he would come in and point out the areas for improvement on the monitor while squeezing my hand reassuringly.— Richard Coles (@Richard Coles) 1625349890
@littlemaddles We would have a shared shopping list app. Gareth would check it before leaving work and pop into a… https://t.co/7HEdsySoHi— Olwen Lily🦕☃️🌌 (@Olwen Lily🦕☃️🌌) 1625354125
@allisonmbarker @littlemaddles If you said he was snoring loudly, he'd promptly and calmly make an appointment with… https://t.co/jIntoic9hA— Martha Lawton (@Martha Lawton) 1625394048
@littlemaddles @rachelburden When it’s a hectic winter’s morning and I’m trying to get out the front door to head… https://t.co/NrP7k4LLLm— Flo Neroli (@Flo Neroli) 1625353410
@littlemaddles And although it meant he'd miss Countryfile and he'd be secretly sad about that, he wouldn't say any… https://t.co/mlVu53YUQq— LEON DUFFY (@LEON DUFFY) 1625328360
@littlemaddles He would be happy to pick up some tampons for you in town but might forget which ones you ‘like’ and… https://t.co/RtNeUU0mb3— Tom Easton (@Tom Easton) 1625328302
@littlemaddles I bet he would always come and help you change the bedding because he knows it’s much easier when there’s two of you— sharon martin (@sharon martin) 1625386081
We could go on…
Southgate has spoken fondly of the support of fans, both home and away, so we wonder what he’d make of these very personal tributes.
Hopefully they won’t distract from the goal at hand: ensuring England’s boys make history and reach their first final since 1966.
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