Oct 26 2013
The Duke of Cambridge has vowed to take Prince George to watch his beloved football team at Villa Park, in a video message released today to mark the 150th anniversary of the FA.
William's son was christened on Wednesday and the proud dad spoke about sitting with the baby prince as Aston Villa "thrash" Premier League champions Manchester United.
The royal also joked about his anxieties ahead of a competitive football match that was staged at Buckingham Palace earlier this month, hinting at worries the Queen's garden might have turned into a bog.
In his message William spoke with pride about being president of the Football Association, saying soccer was a "huge force for good and a lot of people love, respect and enjoy their football more than anything else in their lives".
The royal's video message is released exactly 150 years since the FA was founded.
William will attend a FA gala dinner tonight to mark the anniversary, with the event staged at the Grand Connaught Rooms in London - the site where the founder fathers of English football met in 1863.
The video will by played during the dinner and William is due to give a speech.
Ebenezer Morley, a solicitor and sportsman, was the driving force behind the meeting on October 26, 1863 that led to the establishment of the governing body of football in England.
In the video the Duke was asked if he would take baby George to Villa's ground in the near future and the royal smiled and said: "When Villa thrash Man U at Villa Park, my son will be there."
Speaking about his role as FA president, William added: "I've always loved football since I was a young boy. I've never got any better at it, but I keep saying to myself, 'If you keep trying, eventually something will happen'.
"It's always meant a great deal to me being president of the FA. There's a lot of good that football can do around the world, and in this country.
"But globally it is a huge force for good and a lot of people love, respect and enjoy their football more than anything else in their lives.
"Being president of an organisation that can reach that many people and can affect a lot of lives through sport, I think is hugely important.
"I hugely believe that everybody has the right to play football and where possible facilities and coaching should all be made available to anyone, no matter where they come from or what they do, to play football."
William helped organise the competitive game at the palace between two of England's oldest amateur clubs, Civil Service FC and Polytechnic FC, as part of the 150th anniversary celebrations.
Speaking about the Queen, William said in the video: "She was extremely supportive, but there was a little bit of a sweating moment for me having to ask her, with the possibility that her lawn might turn into a massive quagmire. It was a little bit awkward but thankfully the weather held off."
The match was a hard-fought encounter, won by the Polytechnic side two goals to one, and it showcased the talent in the lower leagues.
William also said in his video message: "It's extremely important to me that grassroots football is acknowledged in the FA's 150th year and without it there wouldn't be any Premiership players who are worth supporting, watching or being such successful players that they are."