England performed better than many of us expected at the 2018 World Cup, and it’s only fair to acknowledge their achievement.
The players and staff returned to the UK over the weekend after losing to Belgium in the third place play-off, having gone further than any England men’s senior team in a major tournament since 1990.
Gareth Southgate played a big part in that, first leading the team to the tournament with ease after replacing Sam Allardyce, and then taking charge of a campaign that saw England get within 25 minutes of a place in their first World Cup final since 1966.
He has received plenty of praise for his achievements, but Transport for London (TfL) has gone one step further in acknowledging England’s new hero.
Would Gareth Southgate have seen a tube station temporarily named after him if his surname wasn’t already the name of a station? Now is not the time for such questions.
Thanks to TfL and Visa UK, Southgate Station on the Piccadilly Line has been temporarily renamed ‘Gareth Southgate’.
The London Underground operator has shared photos of the signs on the platform at ‘Gareth Southgate Station’:
Southgate is a part of North London, with the station sitting in zone 4 on the tube map, between Arnos Grove and Oakwood.
This means any England fans returning to Heathrow Airport from Russia will be able to get a direct train to see the national team manager’s name on the London Underground system… though they might prefer to stop off at home first.
It will only be changing name for two days, however, so get visiting while you can - we also assume that all TfL staff at the station will be wearing waistcoats.
However, it’s nothing compared to what French authorities are doing to the Paris Métro following France’s win over Croatia in the World Cup final.
According to the BBC, the decision to temporarily rename Notre-Dame des Champs station ‘Notre Didier Deschamps’ after the victorious coach is just one of many.
Another station, Champs-Élysées – Clemenceau has been renamed Deschamps-Élysées – Clemenceau (which is rather excellent, it must be said), while Bercy has become Bercy Les Bleus and Victor Hugo has become Victor Hugo Lloris, after the France goalkeeper.
It feels like a glimpse into what we might have seen on the tube if England had gone on to win the World Cup. Perhaps we’d have seen Canada Water become Canada Walker, or Sloane Square become Stones Square.
Covent Lingarden anyone? OK, maybe not.
Want more great reads? Sign up to the ShortList email