England boss Gareth Southgate, 50, secretly battled the coronavirus last month with no wiser players


ENGLAND boss Gareth Southgate is secretly fighting Covid.

The 50-year-old man tested positive for the virus late last month after developing symptoms.

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Gareth Southgate secretly fought Covid last monthCredit: AP: Associated Press
He did not speak to his players about his diagnosis because he wanted to “just continue”Credit: AFP or licensors
After ten days of self-isolation, England's superfit manager was back to work


After ten days of self-isolation, England’s superfit manager was back at workCredit: Rex Features

He was forced to self-isolate for ten days before further checks came back negative.

Concern was heightened due to his age, but his physical form helped him fight the deadly virus – with his English stars no wiser.

A source said: “He’s a professional, he just got along. Fortunately, he is in great shape for his age.

Southgate tested positive around October 25, derailing its preparations for ongoing international matches.

He has isolated himself at his home in North Yorkshire, abandoning his intention to attend Premier League games in person.

Like Prince William, who was diagnosed with coronavirus in April, he has remained silent with only a handful of people in the know.

A subsequent test came back negative on November 5, allowing him to hold a Zoom press conference announcing his latest team.

Concern has been heightened due to Southgate's age, but his physical form has helped him fight the virus6
Concern has been heightened due to Southgate’s age, but his physical form has helped him fight the virusCredit: AP: Associated Press
He was in good spirits at the press conference before the Nations League clash in Belgium


He was in good spirits at the press conference ahead of the Nations League shock in BelgiumCredit: PA: Press Association

England staff and players are regularly tested and Southgate, capped 57 times before becoming boss in 2016, has had several negative checks since.

He trains and jogs every day – once he dislocated his shoulder in a race before the 2018 World Cup.

He’s a professional, he just got along.

That same year, he showed his stamina and fitness on Bear Grylls’ ITV wilderness survival show.

Grylls said: “Nature always rewards commitment and courage, and Gareth has those two qualities in spades. ”

Southgate showed no sequelae of the virus in Thursday’s win over Ireland at Wembley.

He was also in good spirits at yesterday’s press conference ahead of the Nations League clash tonight in Belgium.

Southgate has been a staunch admirer of the NHS throughout the Covid pandemic.

Southgate has opened up about his rise to the top in his new book6
Southgate has opened up about his rise to the top in his new book

My fight to get to the top

By Jane Atkinson

ENGLAND Director Gareth Southgate spoke of the setbacks that almost caused him to turn down the leadership position and left him feeling such ‘humiliation’ that he felt embarrassed to pick up his children at school.

Gareth shares his life lessons in an inspiring book written in collaboration with The Prince’s Trust that aims to counsel young people who lack confidence to reach their full potential.

He reveals: “After three years in my role as manager at Middlesbrough, I was sacked. It was not a pleasant experience. It was just a humiliation.

“When picking up from school I felt like everyone was looking at me and then I had to tell my kids. It was hard not to take it personally and my self-esteem took a hit. I felt like I had failed in my job.

“Then again, I remembered, I had been in a similar situation as a player. I knew I could overcome this.

“As a schoolboy I started training one night a week with Southampton.

“A lot of apprentice players were overflowing with confidence. Being the calmest, that meant I really stood out. I didn’t help myself on my first day of training. I wore my school shirt and pants, only to find that everyone was wearing tracksuits or jeans. It was like a disaster before it even started.

“Coach Alan Smith called me and said, ‘You are a lovely guy but as a footballer you don’t stand a chance.

“If I can go from being a skinny, introverted teenager who was told he would not be successful as a player to someone who played and managed his country, then I am a clear example that ‘anything is possible. “.

  • Anything is Possible by Gareth Southgate is published by Century on November 26 for £ 16.99. Gareth will donate all proceeds from the book to the Prince’s Trust Future Leaders initiative.

In March, he urged fans to stay home to help our hospitals.

He said: “Life is very different for all of us right now and sport rightly stands aside to support a bigger cause in these unprecedented times. ”

In May he agreed to a 30% pay cut of £ 5million to help the NHS.

Southgate also delighted two frontline workers by calling them personally to thank them.

Southgate said: “It is important that the nation supports those who play their part in helping to bring society back to a sense of normalcy.”

Last month his preparations for the Wales game were plunged into chaos after Three Lions stars Tammy Abraham, Ben Chilwell and Jadon Sancho broke Covid rules.

His main tips

Be brave. It takes courage to admit that certain aspects of our personality have to take shape. Addressing our weaknesses can be a difficult but rewarding process.

Be kind. Our conduct is essential. We can fight our way to the top or play fairly with our strengths.

Follow your dreams. Breaking down a challenge makes it manageable. Take one step at a time to make every step count.

They attended a party with dozens of other guests, forcing furious Southgate to abandon them.

He said the rules were being broken across the country, adding: “There is a lot of disagreement now. We are all in this situation together. ”

England will face Iceland at Wembley on Wednesday after the visitors were granted permission to fly from Denmark – where they play today.

Gareth Southgate announces England squad for Ireland, Belgium and Iceland clashes

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