Prince George 'promised Aston Villa visit'

Prince William: "Tonight is not just an English celebration, football is international in every possible way"

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The Duke of Cambridge has indicated he will soon be taking his new son Prince George to see his team, Aston Villa.

Speaking ahead of a dinner to mark the Football Association's 150th anniversary, Prince William said: "When Villa thrash Man U at Villa Park, my son will be there."

The London event was held on the same site where the FA was founded.

In his video message, the duke, the FA's president, also said football was a "huge force for good" in the world.

"It's always meant a great deal to me being president of the FA," he said,

"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.

Video message: "When Villa thrash Man U at Villa Park, my son will be there"

"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."

His comments about Prince George came in answer to a question about whether he could be expected to be seen with his son at Villa Park "in the near future".

According to Aston Villa's website, Prince William has never spoken of his decision to follow the side but it is thought he began following the club in his early years at Eton school.

Prince William was joined by England manager Roy Hodgson, FA chairman Greg Dyke, Fifa president Sepp Blatter, Uefa president Michel Platini and England 1966 World Cup winners George Cohen, Martin Peters and Sir Geoff Hurst for the dinner at the Grand Connaught Rooms in Holborn, central London.

The venue is on the site of the Freemasons' Tavern, where the FA was founded in 1863.

The original FA Minute Book from 1863, which is valued at £2.5m and contains the 13 original handwritten laws of football penned by the FA's first secretary Ebenezer Cobb Morley, was also on display.

'Role models'

The video was played during the dinner and Prince William was among those to address the gathering.

In his speech, the duke said he believed England's football team members were role models and could be as inspirational as the Team GB athletes were at last year's London Olympic Games.

But he said it was important to "retain sportsmanship at the heart of this energetic drive for success".

Prince William speaks to 1966 England World Cup team members Geoff Hurst (2nd R) and Martin Peters (R) Prince William met members of England's 1966 World Cup team at the gala

He also praised the work of the Kick It Out campaign, which is marking its 20th year of fighting racism in football.

"There is sadly more work to do, but it is heartening to see how seriously the FA takes stamping the blight of racism and discrimination out of football," Prince William said.

In his video message, the duke added: "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."

As part of the FA's anniversary celebrations, Prince William hosted a Southern Amateur League fixture at Buckingham Palace earlier this month between two of England's oldest amateur clubs, Civil Service FC and Polytechnic FC.

In the video, he also talked about his anxieties ahead of the match when he asked the Queen for permission to use the palace ground.

Football match at Buckingham Palace on 7 October 2013 Buckingham Palace hosted its first official football match this month

"There was one person I had to get permission from - my grandmother," he said.

"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."

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