By Graham Hardcastle
What a difference a couple of years make!
Gareth Southgate and his England stars are just two games from World Cup glory, but the last time we were in a major tournament at Euro 2016, the current manager and national hero was concentrating on a different sport. Club cricket in Yorkshire.
As England’s under 21 manager at the time, the ex-Aston Villa, Crystal Palace and Middlesbrough man had some time off and was turning out alongside teenage son Flynn for Harrogate side Pannal Ash in a Nidderdale League win over Spofforth second XI.
Southgate has lived in the area since his days with Middlesbrough and took two catches, including one off his son’s bowling, bowled five overs of medium pace without a wicket and then hit an unbeaten 22 to end a successful pursuit of 179.