LONDON: Buckingham Palace has hosted its first official football match, to mark the Football Association’s 150th anniversary.
The idea of the Duke of Cambridge, the FA president, was fulfilled by London side Civil Service FC, the sole survivor of the 11 clubs who founded the FA on October 26, 1863, and Polytechnic FC, set up in 1875.
Prince William presented medals to 150 volunteers before the kick off.
He recognised the efforts of the founders of local clubs, coaches, referees and other officials at a reception to mark the FA’s Grassroots Heroes Day.
The Duke told the guests, who included former England striker Michael Owen and FA chairman Greg Dyke: “Over its 150 years, football has remained a wonderful example of the power of community and of our ability to come together to organise and to enjoy a simple pastime.”
The Queen gave permission for the Southern Amateur League fixture to take place at the palace.
The duke joked “Today we will be playing football on my grandmother’s lawn. One warning, though – if anyone breaks a window, you can answer to her.”