Gareth Southgate given Freedom of Cretingham

Gareth Southgate in Cretingham
Gareth Southgate is welcome in Cretingham, Suffolk

England boss Gareth Southgate has been given the prestigious honour of the Freedom of Cretingham.

As a reward for leading the Three Lions to the Euros final, Southgate can roam around the remote Suffolk village as he pleases.

Village elders rarely let any strangers into the area – and the bus stop is only there for show.

Spokesperson Lorraine Fisher, 34, said: “The Freedom of Cretingham has only been bestowed upon one person before, and that was old Mr Giles, who used to cut the grass in the churchyard.

“Mr Southgate has lifted the country when we needed it most and this is the top honour we think he can receive.”

Cretingham, about four miles from Framlingham, where Ed Sheeran lives, has a population of about 200 but there is no reason for anyone to drive through it because it is so off the beaten track.

Mr Southgate might, therefore, appreciate the Freedom of Cretingham honour because he won’t be mobbed by England fans.

“He can relax and enjoy some solitude in the Suffolk countryside,” said local potato farmer Maurice Piper. “He can even take in a football game at Ipswich Town if he so chooses.”

Once he has looked at some pretty houses, toured the country lanes, and seen the bus stop, the England manager, 50, can enjoy a pint in the Cretingham Bell.

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