Seven-year-old Huddersfield Town fan Lucy Calvert tackled England manager Gareth Southgate with a tough question live on Football Focus – and was ready to brandish the red card if he gave an answer she didn’t like!
The England gaffer was appearing on the BBC show answering questions from children at a football festival in Sheffield which was promoting the Women’s European Championships this summer.
Lucy and her 11-year-old brother Tom were picked to ask Southgate one question each. Tom asked who England’s best trainer was. Southgate gave a very political answer saying everyone trained well.
However, the former Middlesbrough and Aston Villa player was put under scrutiny by Lucy who was determined to find out who Gareth wanted to be promoted to the Premier League in Sunday’s Championship play-off final at Wembley.
She asked him straight: “Who do you want to be promoted, Huddersfield Town or Nottingham Forest?”
Southgate gave a straight bat reply when he said: “I am a little bit biased because I know Steve Cooper really well (Nottingham Forest manager) as he has taken our under 17s team. However I also know how good the people of Huddersfield are so that’s a really tough question.”
Lucy’s mum Jodie, 43, and dad Dave, 39, were extremely proud of both of their kids on the day. And Jodie revealed Lucy was prepared to show Southgate a red card if he chose Forest over her beloved Terriers.
Jodie said: “We live in Sheffield and they had a football festival promoting the Women’s Euros. Both kids are mad about football and big Town fans so we said we’d go.
“There were lots of activities on the day and we got there pretty early. Some of the volunteers asked Lucy and Tom if they wanted to ask Gareth a question on TV. Both were nervous and as soon as Lucy said she would, Tom did too.
“We didn’t tell them what to ask him and they both asked what they wanted. Both are quite shy so we were really proud of them. I just didn’t want them to freeze live on TV but they didn’t.
“Just before we went on TV one of the activities you could do was be a referee using VAR. Both kids got a free whistle and a yellow and red card. We said to Lucy if Gareth picks Forest will you show him a red card and she said she would, it would have been hilarious.
“He gave a long winded answer and obviously politically didn’t answer the question and so she didn’t show it.
“We didn’t really get a chance to talk to him off camera but we asked him for a picture which he graciously agreed to.”
Jodie and Dave met in Sheffield but both grew up in West Yorkshire and are lifelong Town fans. On their kids following in their footsteps Jodie said: “Me and Dave have seen it all. I worked on the turnstiles when the new ground opened. We’ve explained to Lucy and Tom it’s not always like this, Town doing so well.”
The family are heading to the capital for Sunday’s winner-takes-all final and Jodie added: “Last time we were at Wembley Lucy was only two and can’t remember it. Tom does, though, as he was six. Both are really excited to go again. We are just hoping it’s as memorable as last time.
“Lucy’s favourite player is Lee Nicholls and Tom’s is either Lewis O’Brien or Sorba Thomas. We are all hoping to be celebrating after the game.”