Watch Gareth Southgate say thank you to Sussex town after receiving awards
England manager Gareth Southgate has paid tribute to the Sussex town he grew up in a video message after receiving a top accolade at an awards night.
Southgate picked up the Pride of Crawley Award at the Crawley Community Awards held at the Hawth Theatre and sent a video message of thanks for the recognition.
The 48-year-old former Crystal Palace, Middlesbrough and Aston Villa defender is currently at St George's Park preparing for the up-coming European Championships qualifiers so could not attend, but his parents Clive and Barbara Southgate were in the audience.
Southgate grew up in Crawley and went to school at Pound Hill and Hazelwick schools. After a distinguished football career, which included 57 England caps, he became the national boss in November 2016 and led them to the semi-finals of last year's World Cup in Russia.
And the judges of the Crawley Coumminty Awards deemed that enough for him to win the Pride of Crawley award.
In his video message, Southgate said: "Hi to everybody at the Hawth tonight, I hope you are having a brilliant evening.
"Sorry I can’t be with you, we are here at St George’s Park preparing for our next camp. There’s a lot of hard work ahead to make sure our teams are ready for European Championships qualifiers coming up.
"But I just wanted to say thank you for the recognition. It’s very special to have been able to make a difference to the team last summer in particular and we feel we have improved since then.
"Crawley has been a huge part of my life. I had all my school life there, my first experiences in football, playing for the cubs, playing for Crawley Traders, playing for Pound Hill and Hazelwick schools. They were very special moments in my life and very dear to my heart so I really appreciate the recognition.
"I hope everyone else has a brilliant evening. Congratulations to all the other nominees and the winners, sorry I can’t be with you but two very special people in my life are with you, my parents Clive and Barbara, so I hope you both have a brilliant evening. You have given me a wonderful opportunity in life and given me values in life which I think have stood me in good stead throughout my career.
"I hope you enjoy this moment of recognition as well because without you it would not have been possible."