England-mad footie fan changes name to Gareth Southgate for next two months

An insulation worker is so passionate about England's Euro 2020 success that he changed his name to Gareth Southgate in honour of the Three Lions boss.

Gareth Neeve, from Creswell in Derbyshire, got over excited while watching England romp to victory over Ukraine in the quarter finals of the tournament and changed his name on Facebook.

Now, the 32-year-old has to wait 60 days before he can change it back.

However, Gareth told Nottinghamshire Live that he is actually enjoying the new name, and explained how it all started.

He said: "During the England vs Ukraine game me and a couple of friends were watching and I kept predicting the substitutions minutes before Gareth Southgate made them, leading to my friend jokingly calling me Gareth Southgate."

The Doncaster Rovers fan continued: "In all honesty the banter that’s come from it has been brilliant. I’ve had groups of lads inviting me to group chats and asking me to substitute certain players. It's been brilliant."

Gareth, who works for home insulation company Yorkshire Building Services, added: "I love football. I'm having the time of my life. It's fallen at such a perfect time for the country as a whole after the hard times we’ve had which for me makes it that bit more special.

"It's been a rollercoaster of emotions that’s for sure. When Denmark scored my heart sank but thankfully the team showed that English pride and passion to pull it back and take us to the final."

While his namesake is on the sideline on Sunday night at Wembley, Gareth will be watching England take on the Italians at his local pub The Comrades in what's sure to be a nail-biting final.

"They’ve been superb all the way through the Euros with regards to keeping the social distancing in place whilst managing to keep a fantastic atmosphere in the pub," he said.

Asked to predict the scores, he said: "That's a tough one but my heart says 2-1 to England with Harry Kane and Raheem Sterling scoring the goals."

While his mates think it's a laugh, Gareth added: "I’m dating someone but she’s told me nothing is going to be being made Facebook official until my name changes back."

He'll be stuck with the name weeks after England win or lose.

"I've still got roughly about 50 days before I can change back unfortunately but I'd be more gutted if England lose."

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