Gareth Southgate points to Sir Bobby Charlton legacy as inspiration to end England’s trophy wait

Gareth Southgate has stressed to his players how Sir Bobby Charlton’s legacy demonstrates there is nothing greater than winning a trophy with England.

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Southgate sends Sir Bobby Charlton message

Charlton died last month and will be honoured by the Football Association at Wembley on Friday night when England face Malta.

Ahead of the game, Southgate has shown his players clips of Charlton, who helped England win their only World Cup in 1966.

The England manager has always wanted to stress the importance of the side’s history to his squad, while also underlining the legacy they can leave by winning a trophy - something he discussed ahead of facing Malta:

“A big part of what we have wanted to do with our players is to talk about our identity as a team,” said Southgate. “Part of that is knowing the history of our team and having an understanding of how special some of the players that have been England internationals before are.

“We have had the chance to do that this week. We showed some footage of Sir Bobby to the players the first day we arrived. You can have a fabulous club career and an international career. At times those things can come into conflict because club managers of course have got to look after their own roles and responsibility. That can put players in difficult positions with all internationals, frankly.

“But your international team will always be there as well and if you can win something with your international team, it is probably bigger than anything else you are going to experience.

“There are lots of messages within that for all of the players, but most importantly an incredible player, an incredible man. I thought the occasion (Charlton’s funeral) on Monday was brilliantly handled by everyone at the cathedral and Manchester United. We wanted to go because we wanted England to be represented. We hope we have been a big part of his life and his family’s life. We felt it was important to be there.”

Josh Barker

Josh Barker

Middlesbrough fan from the North East of England. @JoshBarker979 on Twitter.