Prince William reassured England football manager Gareth Southgate that it’s ‘not a weakness’ to speak about mental health when the pair met at the Sandringham estate in Norfolk earlier this month.
In a video released today by the Heads Up campaign, Gareth, 49, speaks candidly to the Duke of Cambridge, 38, about his mental health and how being in the public eye has affected him over the years, citing that famously missing a penalty in semi-finals of Euro ’96 started of his understanding about mental health.
Discussing his campaign, William added: ‘The idea of being able to talk about it is not a weakness.
Prince William (right) reassured England football manager Gareth Southgate (left) that it’s ‘not a weakness’ to speak about mental health when the pair met at the Sandringham estate in Norfolk earlier this month
‘The idea of being able to be open about your emotions and fix a problem is a positive, it’s a strength, not a weakness.
‘And I think that that culture is something that we hopefully are seeing a slight shift in.’
It comes after William appeared of BBC 5Live’s That Peter Crouch podcast earlier this week, where he joked he would use his role as president of the FA to sack the manager if England had a bad run of form.
William, has been staying at Amner Hall on the estate during lockdown with wife Kate Middleton, 38. and children Prince George, seven, Princess Charlotte, five, and Prince Louis, two.
William (left) has been staying at Amner Hall on the estate during lockdown with wife Kate Middleton, 38. and children Prince George, seven, Princess Charlotte, five, and Prince Louis, two. He is pictured with Gareth (right)
The pair stayed two metres apart and adhered to social-distancing measures throughout the video.
Speaking to the second-in-line, Gareth said: ‘I had quite a high profile situation in missing a penalty with England. Without doubt when I look back that was professionally the most challenging situation I’ve been in.
‘You’re in a position where the is in the biggest game they’ve had for 50 years – I forget how many years of hurt we’ve had.
In a video released today by the Heads Up campaign, Gareth, 49, speaks candidly to the Duke of Cambridge, 38, about his mental health and how being in the public eye has affected him over the years, citing that famously missing a penalty in semi-finals of Euro ’96 started of his understanding about mental health. Gareth is pictured being consoled by Stuart Pearce after missing the shot years ago
‘The country was on a tidal wave of good emotion and feeling, and you walk away from the stadium feeling you’re the person that’s responsible for that feeling.
‘I didn’t feel anger, jut regret, remorse and responsibility, and to a small degree that still lives with me.
‘To have failed under pressure under that huge spotlight is hard professionally to take.
When asked by the Duke if it’s still fair we’re talking about it, Gareth added: ‘It’s tough because even now I have regrets for the team I played with.
King of the comeback! Gareth said he has been redeemed since missing the shot in 1996, he is pictured celebrating an England win at the 2018 World Cup, where he took the team to the semi-fials
‘I’ve had an element of resurrection and redemption but the team I played with lost the opportunity to win a major tournament and those guys didn’t get another chance.
‘Because we’ve been sat at home all summer everyone is replaying those games, I can’t avoid it. There’s a reality we have to face, I can’t hide from the face it happened, we have a decision and a choice to how to deal with it.
Gareth, who lead England to the semi-finals of the World Cup in 2018 last summer, added that the pandemic has put things into perspective for him.
William’s chat with Gareth comes after he appeared on That Peter Crouch podcast, whree he was asked if what he would do if England had a ‘disastrous run of form’. Prince William said he would sack manager Gareth Southgate, much to the amusement of Peter. Pictured (from left) is William, Peter Crouch, Tom Fordyce and Chris Stark at Kensington Palace in March
The Duke also asked the manager if there was more of a formal structure around the team in 1996 if he’d have coped better.
‘I remember going back to the hotel and sitting with [former player] Stuart Pearce, who lived through what I was going to live through, he was available immediately to tell me what I was going to experience, which was invaluable really.
‘When you’ve messed up as badly as I have, and you’ve realised that’s the worst you’re going to face, professionally that liberates you, to say “right, lets just attack life”‘.
‘Similar, when I was a young manager and lost my job, there’s a loss of self-esteem, and a lot of people are going to experience that over the next few months sadly, it’s a huge blow, and you don’t know how to talk to people walking down the street. You assume that everyone is looking at you and their probably not.
‘But the inner voice in your head, which is such a key to wellbeing, is telling you all these things is catastrophic.
William also asked Gareth what he was doing as England manger to make sure there was support in place.
‘If you look at what’s important for young players, old players, and society generally, especially with everything that’s happened over the last few months – then people’s mental health is one of our primary focuses, it will have such a big affect on our society.
‘The whole world is going through a challenging period. I recognise as a manager I need to step up and make sure even more that to begin with our own players are cared for.
The release of the final #SoundofSupport film comes ahead of the Heads Up FA Cup Final, which has been officially renamed in honour of mental health awareness, helping to spark a national conversation about mental health
‘The message in a high profile way can influence our thinking.
William also asked Gareth if there was a message he wanted to give football fans an the wider community struggling with mental health.
‘I think there is very often this feeling “I’m the only one, there’s nowhere to go” and some of the most successful people in the world have had these issues or have problems with self-confidence, self-belief.
‘It doesn’t have to be an extreme case. There are various issues with people’s mental health, that can affect how they feel or how they perform and it’s making sure that we don’t feel that there’s a stigma for people, that it’s acceptable to look for help.’
The release of the final #SoundofSupport film comes ahead of the Heads Up FA Cup Final, which has been officially renamed in honour of mental health awareness, helping to spark a national conversation about mental health.
The Prince also appeared on Peter Crouch’s podcast to talk about mental health. The podcast, which was released this week, sees the Duke serving curry to the striker and his co-hosts Tom Fordyce and Chris Stark, and joking about how Prince George could becoming Aston Villa’s top scorer. He is pictured with George in September at the seven-year-old’s school, Thomas’ Battersea
The Prince also appeared on Peter Crouch’s podcast to talk about mental health.
The podcast, which was released this week, sees the Duke serving curry to the striker and his co-hosts Tom Fordyce and Chris Stark, and joking about how Prince George could becoming Aston Villa’s top scorer.
To mark the culmination of the campaign, this evening The Duke of Cambridge will host an outdoor screening of the Heads Up FA Cup Final on the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk, attended by a small group of frontline workers, beneficiaries of the campaign’s charity partners, local fans, and Heads Up ambassadors.
The six-part #SoundOfSupport series features current and former players, managers and well-known fans paired up to have candid conversations about mental health, with the aim to help football fans, and men in particular, feel comfortable and confident in reaching out for support if they need it.
Other films in the series include Jesse Lingard and Maya Jama, Jürgen Klopp and Andy Robertson, Phil Foden and İlkay Gündoğan, Rio Ferdinand and Owen Farrell, and Alex Scott and Troy Deeney.