LUKE SHAW says the support of Gareth Southgate and his team-mates has helped him overcome the death of his grandmother, who passed away before the opening game of England’s World Cup campaign.
After the Three Lions’ 3-0 win over Wales, Shaw revealed that he was grieving for his grandmother but had received the full support of his colleagues in Qatar.
The Manchester United full-back said: “My Nan sadly passed away.”
“She had cancer for a long while and unfortunately she passed away just before the first game.
“Gareth was really good with me. He spoke to me said, ‘okay, you need to have time away and just focus on that’ but I’m out here, this World Cup means so much to me and I didn’t want to miss anything.
“Of course, I’ve had time to grieve and now it’s time to fully focus on the World Cup.”
Shaw says her passing will motivate him to achieve his best with England. “Yes, you could say that. She was a really important part of my childhood. I spent a lot of time with her.
“Unfortunately, she’d been ill for a long while and suffered a lot. It’s been a long thing. But I’ve had time to grieve and obviously now my full focus is on the World Cup.”
Marcus Rashford also revealed that he dedicated his opening goal against Wales to the memory of a friend who had just died from cancer, and Shaw says the team’s spirit in the England camp is tremendously supportive.
The defender added: “Yes, 100 percent. I think the togetherness in the squad is something that I’ve not witnessed in a team before, everyone’s so close together. We get on so well and we push each other everyday day to get better and keep the standards higher.
“And especially after the USA game, you saw what the team are like. The way the lads trained the next day, with the ones that weren’t involved, it was high quality and it shows that togetherness.
“I think that helps the spirit and the company, brings everyone closer together and the squad is a very strong unit.”
The squad now go into the last-16 with a clash against Senegal to come on Sunday.
Shaw has so far started every game and will be hoping to help push England all the way to the final.
The 27-year-old scored after two minutes the last time England reached a major final before eventually the Three Lions lost to penalties to Italy in the Euros last year.
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