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Prince William shared a laugh with some of the top Aston Villa players on Tuesday after he unveiled the club’s new high-performance centre on Tuesday.
The Duke of Cambridge, 38, is well known as a Villa supporter and welcomed the opportunity to support his favourite team during a trip to the West Midlands.
During the day he visited organisations that have worked to protect and support communities during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The club have been working closely with local organisations while building their new £6 million facility which will soon be opening their doors to antenatal classes and provide upwards of 1,000 hot meals each week.
The prince met Guy Rippon, head of the Aston Villa Foundation alongside favoured team players and current captain Jack Grealish as he took a tour of the new grounds.
The prince was seen sporting the team colours, opting for a navy blue suit paired with a cranberry jumper layered over a light blue dress shirt.
He proudly opened the new development with an unveiling ceremony, revealing a plaque to mark the day the royal visited the club.
A spokesman for Aston Villa said: “The Duke was given a tour of the new building before hearing more about the Aston Villa Foundation’s Community Outreach and Support programmes, meeting representatives from initiatives like Villa Vision, TeamWork and Villa Kitchen.
“The Duke was also introduced to those involved in the antenatal clinics from the Birmingham and Sandwell NHS Trust who made use of the facilities at Villa Park during the pandemic.”
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William first shared his support for the popular Midlands club back in 2015, admitting he didn’t want to follow suit with the popular teams instead looking for a team with “a great history” that could give him “emotional rollercoaster moments.”
He said: “A long time ago at school I got into football big time. I was looking around for clubs. All my friends at school were either Man United fan or Chelsea fans and I didn’t want to follow the run of the mill teams.
“I wanted to have a team that was more mid-table that could give me more emotional rollercoaster moments.
“Aston Villa’s always had a great history. I have got friends of mine who support Aston Villa and one of the first FA Cup games I went to was Bolton v Aston Villa back in 2000. Sadly, Villa went on to lose to Chelsea.
“It was fantastic, I sat with all the fans with my red beanie on, and I was sat with all the Brummie fans and had a great time.
“It was the atmosphere, the camaraderie and I really felt that there was something I could connect with.”
The club proudly shared a video of the royal’s visit as they announced the opening of their new centre with fans on Twitter.
This comes after The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge made the decision not to celebrate Princess Charlotte’s sixth birthday as they join a social media boycott over the next four days.
The couple are supporting big name football clubs by staying off social media over the next four days, including their daughter’s special day.
Despite their original plan to share intimate pictures of their little girl on Sunday, the pair have reportedly decided to abandon this plan to show their support for the Football Association, which William is a president of.
He tweeted from his official Kensington Royal Twitter account: “As president of the FA [Football Association] I join the entire football community in the social media boycott this weekend. W.”
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