Morgan Gibbs-White reveals he is godfather to Phil Foden’s children
MORGAN GIBBS-WHITE has revealed he is godfather to Phil Foden’s children – and now he wants to emulate his amazing pal by becoming a senior England international.
Nottingham Forest star Gibbs-White first met Foden aged 16 and the pair won the 2017 U17 World Cup with England.
They often lived together and remain very close today, to the point where the Manchester City man asked Gibbs-White to sponsor his son and daughter.
Foden, 22, has 22 caps for England, most recently in Thursday’s 2-1 qualifier against Italy.
Gibbs-White, 23, was named England U21 captain this week but has yet to receive a senior call-up – although Gareth Southgate says he is keeping a close eye on the midfielder.
The forest ace said: “It’s an honor to have been mentioned at all and it shows I’m improving on the right track. I have to strive for more.
“I’m still in touch with Phil, still very close. I am godfather to his children. It just shows that anything is possible. I was on that U17 World Cup team, so if these guys can do it, so can I.”
Jadon Sancho, Marc Guehi, Conor Gallagher, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Emile Smith Rowe were the other prodigies from this U17 World Cup squad who went on to play for the senior side.
However, Foden is undoubtedly the best choice and a character Gibbs-White clicked with immediately.
MGW explained: “We just had a good connection. I met him when I was 16, we just hit it off.
“We slept together quite a bit. He was always a nice boy, Phil.
“He’s an incredible player. He played Fortnite every night until one or two in the morning! Each night.
“I would tell him that if he scores a goal the next day, he can go on for a few more hours!”
Foden’s wife Rebecca Cooke is also very close to Gibbs-White’s girlfriend Britney De Villiers.
However, the baptism is still pending because of the hectic football schedule.
Steve Cooper was the manager in charge of this amazing England U17 side that triumphed in India.
And it was the Welshman, now at Forest’s helm, who signed Gibbs-White for a whopping £42.5million from Wolves in the summer.
Back then, the fee was all that was talked about Gibbs-White.
But it’s a testament to his fine season, which has seen him score three goals and provide six assists in the Premier League, that his hefty price tag is now less of a talking point.
Still, the playmaker never felt pressured by how much Forest pounded him – and certainly nothing compared to the heat of the team struggling to survive.
He said: “It wasn’t me who paid the price! I enjoyed it. It meant more eyes were on me.
“I could show myself more. It wasn’t printed.
“The focus was on the price tag and I kind of had to prove people wrong. You thrive on this situation. They want to prove people wrong and impress them.
“(The fight to stay on top) — that’s pressure. There are so many good teams down there.”
Forest are without a win in their last six league games, losing four of them and are just two points clear of the relegation zone.
But for Gibbs-White there is no doubt that the Tricky Trees will retain the top status they have earned over 23 years by avoiding the fall.
He said: “I’m 100 percent confident we’re going to stay up there. We’ve proven that in games. We played 1-1 against Manchester City. We have to be more consistent.”
On Saturday, however, Gibbs-White turns his attention to leading his country for the first time ever.
Despite representing England at almost every level from U16 onwards, the Stafford boy has never worn his nation’s armband.
But that will change on Saturday afternoon when he leads England Under-21s into their friendly against France at Leicester’s King Power Stadium.
He commented: “It was a surprise to get it. It will be my first time managing an English team.
“It’s an honor to be called up and when Lee Carsley told me I was captain, it was a very special feeling. It shows I’ve done well at club level and he sees me as a leader in the group. I think I’m the oldest here, that’s why!”
Southgate’s recent comments suggest it won’t be long before Gibbs-White makes that step into seniority.
It would be a reward, just as it will be for his country’s captain to put everything he has into his career and hold nothing back.
That mentality is reflected in the words he got tattooed on his right hand last summer: “Why save the meal for later?”
Gibbs-White added, “It’s just ‘why say no? Why not do the good stuff now and regret it later?’ I never wanted to have any regrets in the future.”
No doubt good advice to pass on to his godchildren – and to help Forest stay alive.