William makes surprise visit to watch his favourite football team
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Prince William made an unexpected visit to Aston Villa’s Bodymoor Heath training grounds on Thursday to speak with various English football players. The Prince of Wales, 40, was spotted joking and laughing with players at the Bodymoor Heath facility in Warwickshire. A cheerful William stood on the team’s grounds and gave them a thumbs-up while they were training.
Instead of sporting his football kit, the prince was dressed more casually in a navy blazer, a royal blue sweatshirt, smart black trousers, and brown shoes.
Aston Villa’s official Twitter account shared pictures with the description “Up the Villa”, which were later retweeted by the Prince and Princess of Wales’ official Twitter account.
The prince has supported the Aston Villa soccer team since his college days and was named President-Designate of The Football Association (FA), the nation’s sports league, in 2005.
In 2006, William succeeded his uncle, the Duke of York, as the head of the association.
During his most recent visit, he had meetings with the men’s first-team roster, head coach Unai Emery, his coaching staff, and CEO Christian Purslow.
William can also be seen in pictures posted on the football team’s website standing in a circle with the men and giving a thumbs-up in another picture.
The club’s academy, which includes players between the ages of 16 and 19, and manager Carla Ward of the Villa Women have also reportedly met with the prince, according to Aston Villa.
Back in 2015, he told the BBC he decided to support Aston Villa because of its “great history” and because he wanted to be different to all his friends.
The prince has had a long-standing interest in the sport.
In a conservation with England players Harry Kane and Declan Rice in November, he said: “I just thought it was really fun. That led me on to wanting to play more football. The sheer size and scale and just the fun of everyone running around chasing each other.”
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The father-of-three was the football team’s special guest when the new $6 million facility’s ribbon was cut two years ago.
He has been to several games, including the 2019 play-off final victory over Derby County at Wembley.
The team’s next match is against A.F.C. Bournemouth on Saturday.
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