English Heritage has revealed the meaning of the surnames of England’s star players as the Three Lions prepare to make history this weekend.
England captain Harry Kane‘s family name is most common in Newcastle and means “warrior”, while right-back Kieran Trippier’s name means “to dance” and is most popular in Bolton.
The surname of Raheem Sterling, one of England’s most potent attacking threats in the tournament, is actually Scottish and originates from the city Stirling in central Scotland.
Harry Maguire’s surname is most common in Liverpool and comes from the Irish language Mag Uidhir, which means “son of Odhar” or “son of the dun or pale coloured one”.
Manager Gareth Southgate’s surname is likely to have emerged from one of two places in Norfolk called Southgate, or from Southgate in Edmonton, according to English Heritage.
The names have been revealed as English Heritage’s historic properties will fly a specially-designed St George’s flag featuring the surnames of almost every person in the country on Friday.
The surnames – from Aamir to Zyla – are arranged alphabetically and capture those with more than 100 occurrences in the country.
It means that not every England player will find their name written on the flag, with winger Bukayo Saka, whose parents are of Nigerian descent, having to search further afield to find out the meaning of his surname.
The charity, which manages over 400 historic monuments, buildings and places, is hoisting up the flags to help inspire the nation ahead of England’s match against Italy in the Euro 2020 final on Sunday.
More than 32,000 names will feature in either red or white in locations including Dover Castle in Kent, Stonehenge in Wiltshire and Carlisle Castle in Cumbria.
The flag will also fly at Osborne House, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s summer home and rural retreat on the Isle of Wight.
English Heritage has launched a digital flag online which users can explore to find out the meaning of different surnames.
It highlights the histories of English surnames from the Romans to Anglo-Saxons, Huguenots and Windrush generation.
Members of the public are able to submit their own surnames for inclusion in the flag if they are rare.
Matt Thompson, English Heritage’s head collections curator, said: “History may be made at Wembley on Sunday and English Heritage is cheering on the team by flying the England flag at our castles and palaces across the country.
“The surnames on our England flag connect the country’s past, present and future and we hope that our flag will remind people that everyone living here today – including the Kanes and Sterlings – will shape the England of the future.
“Hopefully, that immediate future will be one in which England have won the Euros.”
Professor John Denham, director of the Centre for English Identity and Politics at the University of Southampton, originally suggested the idea to English Heritage.
He said: “At a time when the telling of history can spark controversy, this flag symbolises an essential truth: England and its people have been shaped by our shared histories and England’s future story on and off the pitch will be told by all the people who are making their lives here today.”