Should Peterborough district be renamed Orton ‘Gareth’ Southgate?

England football fever has gripped the city so much there are calls for Orton Southgate to be renamed Orton Gareth Southgate in honour of the national team’s manager.

By Rosie Boon
Friday, 9th July 2021, 6:14 pm
City councillors Julie Howell and Kirsty Knight are backing the temporary name change.

A council petition has even been filed to rename the area after England stormed to the final of the Euros.

The idea was first suggested in 2018 by BBC Radio Cambridgeshire journalist, Ben Stevenson as England progressed to the semi-final of the World Cup and now residents across the city are backing the name change once more.

Ben said on air: “Fingers crossed it’s coming home.

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“It’s gathering pace. Gareth Southgate I didn’t expect him to be this good at the job. He has united a country and led the football team to the finals of the European Championships.

“Surely Cambridgeshire should do their bit to honour his genius.”

The Peterborough Telegraph spoke to all three councillors who represent Orton Southgate who said they would be ‘delighted’ to endorse the temporary change to the area’s name.

Cllr Julie Howell said: “The three councillors who represent Orton Southgate (Cllr Howell, Cllr Day, Cllr Knight) are delighted to join residents in supporting Ben Stevenson’s campaign to temporarily re-name the area ‘Orton Gareth Southgate’ in honour of the England manager.

“We have been gripped by England’s performances throughout the tournament. Like everyone else, we are over the moon that England have reached the final. We would be proud to have this part of our ward associated with England’s success, which follows hot on the heels of Posh’s promotion. Let’s come together and make this happen!”

The Peterborough Civic Society thought the name change was a ‘sterling idea’.

A spokesperson said: “Peterborough Civic Society is delighted to hear of the campaign to rename the area as Orton Gareth Southgate. It’s a sterling idea and hopes that Kane Avenue will soon be added to the suggested names for new streets. The society is heartily in favour of euphoria in all its forms.”

Resident Graham Whitehead also suggested turning Stirling Way in Bretton to Sterling Way in honour of Raheem Sterling’s efforts in the tournament. Other suggestions from residents include changing Ford Close in Yaxley to Pickford Close, Luke Shaw Close in Hempstead, Mason Mountsteven Avenue in Werrington

Resident Sue Herring said: “As a passionate England fan who is so excited that we have finally got through to a final and will hopefully win I think we should rename our local area Orton Southgate to Orton Gareth Southgate in honour of Gareth’s fantastic achievement for our country!”

Cllr Wayne Fitzgerald, leader of Peterborough City Council, said:”This is an interesting idea and we think it is great to celebrate the England team’s success. We would be delighted to work with businesses and residents to celebrate the team’s fantastic achievements, but in a way which does not impact formal addresses.”

North West Cambs MP Shailesh Vara, who represents Orton Southgate, said: “Gareth Southgate and the entire England squad have done tremendously well. Now with this extra bit of local support from Orton Southgate, let’s hope football will finally be coming home this weekend.”

MP for Peterborough, Paul Bristow commented: “Not my constituency but a fine idea.”