The Queen: Southgate and Wiegman lead England tributes

·3-min read

England coaches Gareth Southgate and Sarina Wiegman have led tributes from the national side following the passing of Her Majesty The Queen.

Britain's Monarch passed away on Thursday after a reign of over 70 years, leading to the cancellation of all football fixtures across the United Kingdom this weekend.

The Football Association has also confirmed that tributes will be paid at the UEFA Nations League fixture against Germany at Wembley Stadium on September 26, with a period of silence and the wearing of black armbands.

Southgate, who was awarded an OBE in the 2019 New Year Honours, said in his message that the Queen "showed the world what it is to be British".

"My thoughts today are with His Majesty King Charles III, the FA President HRH The Duke of Cambridge and the Royal Family," he said.

"In remembering and celebrating the life of Her Majesty The Queen, we are also acknowledging her remarkable leadership and lifetime of dignified service.

"She showed the world what it is to be British. Her values, her dignity, her resilience were an exemplar to us all and she has provided us with stability and reassurance in the best and also most difficult of times.

"I was proud to have her as our patron and to sing God Save The Queen before every match.

"The team will have the chance to pay our respects at our fixture with Germany later this month. An occasion that will, of course, bring to mind the World Cup final in 1966 and the moment when Her Majesty handed the Jules Rimet trophy to Bobby Moore.

"As Wembley and the country falls silent, I will think of that and her 70 years of impeccable duty."

Wiegman, who led England's women to European Championship glory earlier this year, spoke of the connection between the UK and her native Netherlands, which she says "always had a great deal of respect" for her.

"It is with great sadness that I learned of the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II," she said.

"I just wanted to join the many millions of people across the world to celebrate her life and mourn her passing. My homeland has always had a great deal of respect, admiration and love for her and I know that is a feeling not unique to the Netherlands but across the entire world.

"Developing my connection with England strengthened my bond to Her Majesty. I could feel the love the public felt for her, a mother figure for people to seek stability and peace from in uncertain times.

"The national anthem sung with such respect by my players and staff, served as a reminder of what she meant to the country. The words 'send her victorious' a line written on our shirts but was also in our hearts.

"This summer she took the time to write to me and my players congratulating us for our success. In that letter she called us an 'inspiration for girls and women'. It is you, your Majesty, who was the inspiration with your unrelenting work ethic, leadership, dignity and kindness.

"My thoughts are with the Royal Family and the whole of the United Kingdom as they come to terms with this tragic news."