World Cup 2018 heroes Gareth Southgate and Harry Kane do not deserve to be given honours, however magnificent their sporting achievements, says former England captain Tony Adams.
‘Why would they get a knighthood for doing the job they are paid to do?’ he asked me at the Oldie lunch at Simpson’s in the Strand.
‘They don’t deserve it for doing sport — nobody does.’
England manager Southgate earns an annual salary of £1.8 million, while striker Kane earns £300,000 a week at Tottenham Hotspur, making him one of the highest paid Premier League footballers.
Former England captain Tony Adams rubbished calls for coach Gareth Southgate and golden boot winner Harry Kane to be given knighthoods
‘The only reason anyone should be given an honour is for charity work,’ adds Adams. ‘Like me. That’s what I got an MBE for, not for doing sport.’
Adams, 51, who is a recovering alcoholic, was awarded his gong in 1999 for founding Sporting Chance Clinic, a charitable foundation aimed at providing treatment, counselling and support for sportsmen and women suffering from drink, drug or gambling addictions.
Petitions were signed to award Southgate, 48, a knighthood after his team made it through to the World Cup semi-finals, only to be knocked out by Croatia.
However, his hopes may have been dashed after it was revealed that he had engaged in a tax-avoidance scheme.
Tony Adams said ‘why would they get a knighthood for doing the job they are paid to do?’ when asked if England stars should be knighted
But perhaps Southgate might be forgiven for that after doing his bit to turn around the fortunes of M&S, which saw waistcoat sales double after he wore one to every match during the tournament.
But it was England Captain Harry Kane who really captured the hearts of the nation when he became just the third player in English history to score a World Cup hat-trick, after Gary Lineker and Geoff Hurst.
Bookmakers are giving Kane an 8.3 per cent chance of receiving a knighthood before 2020 . . . but not if Adams has his way.