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Southgate tells England stars: 'Be bigger than 1966 heroes'

10 July 2018

England defeated Sweden 2-0 in the quarterfinals to reach the semi-finals of the World Cup for the first time in 32 years.

Walker believes there has been a great mood in the camp throughout the summer, with all of the players adopting each other as their own.

There are a few familiar faces: Simon Rodger, who went on to play nearly 300 games for Palace, is in the middle row with the shock of blond hair; Chris Powell, who played for England and is now managing Southend, is in the middle; and, on the front row, sitting next to me, is Gareth Southgate.

"Listen, it doesn't matter where you're from".

"It's amusing because at first I didn't think I did look like him, but with all the people approaching me about it they can't all be wrong!" It's special. It really is.

"If you're asking me a question in a one-off final can we do it?"

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"I said the same thing before the Colombia game - it's not me getting carried away".

He added: "Hopefully we had a long month together, which we have done".

"You obviously have got your family at home and the kids that you need to keep in touch with, keep checking in or the missus might go mad".

Sir Alf Ramsey's team of 1966 are England's only previous World Cup winners and, while that squad continued to be feted, the current manager thinks winning the tournament might get even more of a reaction. We have completed it. Since then he's got better and better.

At the time of writing, over 60,000 people have signed Liam Betson's appeal and it's growing at a rapid rate to the point where the target of 100,000 looks set to be achieved before you can even say "It's Coming Home!".

Southgate tells England stars: 'Be bigger than 1966 heroes'