Royal Watch News
Prince William opens England's new football base
Oct 9, 2012, 15:02 GMT
Prince William and Duchess Catherine chat to England football manager Roy Hodgson
Britain's Prince William and Duchess Catherine officially opened the England Football Association's new centre of excellence today (09.10.12).
The royal couple travelled to Staffordshire, central England, to mark the opening of St George's Park, where they met the England national football team players including captain Steven Gerrard and manager Roy Hodgson before watching the team train.
Hodgson said he was 'very impressed' the pair had taken time out of their busy schedules to open the new state-of-the-art complex.
Catherine - who was known as Kate Middleton prior to the couple's nuptials last year - joked to local Burton MP Andrew Griffiths that she wanted to join in with the training session if he had a spare pair of football boots.
He explained: 'I asked if she was going to come for a kickabout later. She said, 'Have you got a pair of trainers I can borrow?'
'I said, 'It can be arranged.' She just laughed.'
There were also some laughs had at William's expense as the players mocked the royal for being a big fan of Premier League side Aston Villa.
Andrew said: 'There was a lot of ribbing about Aston Villa and whether they are going to have any players in the England team. He said that was not his decision.
'He asked me if I thought the centre would deliver an England World Cup win. I said, 'Of course, guaranteed.' There was a wry smile. That about sums it up.'
The royal couple - who travelled to the centre by helicopter from London this morning - also joined in with a question and answer session, in which William was on the receiving end of more jokes about Villa.
He said: 'I've got a quick question - I was just wondering if Aston Villa were ever going to win the Premiership?'
Chris Sulley - who is due to take up a job training coaches at Villa and other clubs - replied: 'I've obviously got some work to do. They have produced good young players. Hopefully we can enhance that.'
Former England captain David Beckham has previously admitted to mocking William for supporting Villa when he met the prince.
FROM THE WEB
Further Reading on M&CDavid Beckham Biography -
David Beckham Links - M&C is not responsible for the content in external sitesKate Middleton Biography -
Kate Middleton Links - M&C is not responsible for the content in external sitesRoy Hodgson Biography -
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