England manager Gareth Southgate has been spotted emerging from a Harrogate dry-cleaners clutching a Marks and Spencer waistcoat, Paddy Power can reveal.
The 50-year-old collected the slim-fit luxury garment ahead of the Three Lion’s opening Group D fixture with Croatia.
Southgate famously wore the navy third-piece during England’s run to the 2018 World Cup semi-finals where they were dumped out of the competition by the same opponents.
It’s understood the garment required a professional clean as the baking 30C Moscow heat left Southgate sweating like Lee Evans on stage.
With the start of the Euros just days away, Southgate took the waistcoat to Big Vera’s Dry Cleaners in his hometown of Harrogate.
‘I thought he was Jim from American Pie at first but my assistant Rita said it were the England football team manager’, Proprietor Big Vera told Paddy Power News.
‘He brought just the one item. A navy blue waistcoat from Marks and Sparks’.
Describing the condition of the waistcoat which she cleaned personally, Vera told us:
‘Ooh it were a right mess. Drenched in sweat it was. Plus, a big stain on the breast which Rita said was caused by Harry Kane’s snot and tears when Gareth tried consoling him after the Croatia defeat’.
‘I gave it a good soaking in perc (perchloroethylene), a rinse, then I chucked it in the tumble’.
And was she pleased with the results?
‘The sweat and tears of yet another early exit from a major tournament were completely gone. Good as bleeding new it was’, said the 62-year-old.
Meanwhile, sources close to the former Aston Villa and Middlesbrough defender claim he attributes all of England’s success in Russia to his lucky waistcoat and hopes it will bring him even more good fortune in the Euros.
‘Gaz is a very superstitious person’, a source told Paddy Power.
‘He won’t walk under a ladder and he won’t pick any Sunderland players for England’.
‘Nothing to do with them being the Black Cats. It’s just because they’re all sh*te’.
‘Gaz says England’s performances at the World Cup were all down to the lucky waistcoat. How else can you explain Harry Maguire playing like Bobby Moore and Jesse Lingard scoring 30-yard screamers?’, added the source.
In related news, Gareth Southgate has revealed he’s looking forward to having a root vegetable photoshopped onto his head by the tabloids when England inevitably crash out in the quarter-finals on penalties.
‘The pinnacle of any England manager’s reign is waking up to see a turnip or parsnip digitally imposed onto your head on the front page of every newspaper’.
‘Obviously I missed out on a summer of ridicule with the postponement of the tournament last year. I cannot wait to see what the red tops have in store for me. It’s very exciting’.
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