CROWDS of cheering youngsters had the chance to meet Prince William during a royal visit to a Solihull football club.
The future king - who is also president of The Football Association - dropped in at Kingshurst Sporting FC. During a tour of the Meriden Drive premises, Prince William met staff, parents and some of the borough’s budding footballers.
Among the players to meet the prince was local lad Regan Hand - who had suffered a broken leg in a recent car accident.
“I was really excited to meet him,” said the nine-year-old. “He asked me who I supported as well. I said Blues and he said ‘Oh dear’ but he wished me well.”
Joining the prince at Monday’s event were Aston Villa favourite Ashley Young and former England international Trevor Brooking.
Young presented the prince - an avowed Aston Villa supporter - with a club shirt.
Kingshurst Sporting FC has been going for almost 30 years and is a FA Charter Standard Club. Decked out in their distinctive red and white strip, one group of players put on a demonstration for the prince.
The FA’s Les Howie said: “We chose Kingshurst Sporting Club FC to host this event because they have a fantastic reputation in the local area and are a real community club with passionate volunteers that are providing football opportunities for all regardless of their background.”
Speaking to reporters after the 90-minute royal visit, Villa star Young confessed to being nervous when the prince first arrived.
Asked whether he or the prince had been more star struck as they toured pitches at the site, Young replied: “I think it was me - it’s not every day you get to meet a prince. It was an honour to meet him - he’s such a down-to-earth guy and the nerves soon went after the first conversation that we had.”
Young also revealed that the prince had been keen to hear about happenings at Villa Park from an insider. He added: “He was saying how well the season had gone, he asked about the team spirit and he asked a few more questions about the club.”