SOCIAL media is blamed – and rightly so on many occasions – for all manner of abuse and fakery.

This week though, it saw a rare outbreak of unilateral positivity, and it was all down to one man – Gareth Southgate.

After a picture emerged of the England manager consoling a distraught Colombian player who missed in the World Cup penalty shoot out on Tuesday night, thousands of people took to the internet to praise Southgate’s compassion.

On Twitter, scores posted imaginary scenarios where he would do the right thing, from knowing which day to put the bins out after a bank holiday and alerting his neighbours, to passing on valid pay and display car parking tickets to fellow drivers, to eating all the Bountys out of a tub of Celebrations, just because he knows no-one else likes them.

Small things and small jokes, but they tell a bigger story of how Southgate’s honesty, self deprecation and downright decency have captured the nation’s hearts over the last few weeks.

Perhaps the ex-Boro manager’s new-found hero status is also a sign that the country is crying out for its leaders to display similar virtues.

Whatever happens in the quarter final this afternoon Southgate will undoubtedly handle the result with his usual fairness, dignity and integrity.

Hopefully we will get the chance to see plenty more of him in the dugout over the next two rounds of the tournament.