He went closer than any manager since Sir Alf Ramsey to delivering tournament glory with England at Wembley.

And Gareth Southgate is no stranger to the touchline here in Cumbria.

The Three Lions boss, whose side lost Sunday's Euro 2020 final after an agonising penalty shoot-out against Italy, has made a number of appearances at Brunton Park.

They date back to his time in charge of Middlesbrough.

Southgate was a fledgling boss when he first brought his Boro side to face Carlisle United in a pre-season friendly in 2007.

It saw Southgate's Premier League side take on a Blues team led by Neil McDonald, only a year into the then 37-year-old's managerial career.

From a Blues point of view the main intrigue on that July afternoon was the trialist outing given to Faroe Islands striker and carpenter Rogvi Jacobsen. Southgate's side, though, got the better of the Blues with a 2-0 victory.

First on the scoresheet was an up-and-coming midfielder who would later become very familiar to United fans - 20-year-old Jason Kennedy. Ben Hutchinson added the second after the break for a largely second-string Middlesbrough team.

Southgate also brought his side back to Brunton Park 12 months later, a time United were now under the management of John Ward.

A competitive encounter saw United keep Southgate's men at bay until early in the second half, when Jeremie Aliadiere fired home. Danny Carlton levelled for the Blues before Didier Digard rifled past keeper Chris Howarth as a Boro side also featuring Mido, Afonso Alves and Robert Huth prevailed.

News and Star: Southgate at Brunton Park in 2009Southgate at Brunton Park in 2009

A third visit came a year later, in July 2009 - and again saw Southgate's side have the edge in a pre-season encounter.

With Greg Abbott now in charge of the Cumbrians, and Boro now in the Championship after the previous season's relegation, Adam Johnson gave the visitors the lead with an early free-kick.

Rhys Williams added a second for a 2-0 win against a Cumbrians side including the likes of Lenny Pidgeley, Scott Dobie, Gary Madine and Matty Robson.

“That was a good work-out for us," Southgate said afterwards. "Carlisle gave us a decent test, but I think we played some good football and we can be pleased with where we are at.”

It came, in fact, towards the end of his Boro tenure, for Southgate was sacked in October '09 despite Boro sitting fourth in the Championship.

A far cry, to say the least, from coming within a couple of penalty kicks of being a Euroean Championship-winning manger.