Duke of Cambridge 'dying' to see Leicester win league title
The Duke of Cambridge has said he is "dying" for football's surprise package Leicester City to win the Premier League.
William, presented with a special cap during a Wembley Stadium lunch on Wednesday to mark his ten years as president of the Football Association, threw his support behind Leicester's campaign to secure the title.
At a reception held before guests sat down to eat, the Duke commented on Leicester's amazing run of form that has taken them to the top of the table, and told members of the FA board: "I'm dying for Leicester to win."
William's own team Aston Villa are languishing at the bottom of the Premier League and he hinted that his thoughts were on his club playing in a lower division next season.
FA board member Ian Lenagan, a director of Oxford United FC, said later of William's comments about Leicester: "He felt it would be good for football - it would be great for the game."
He added: "He's rather more worried about the prospect of championship football from his own point of view."
In a speech to mark William's milestone, FA chairman Greg Dyke joked how the Duke, who still plays football with pals, brought a friend to his regular game - David Beckham.
Mr Dyke told the guests, who included England manager Roy Hodgson: "He cares about our development, about what we're doing to get a common thread between youth sides and the senior set-up, and how we're building our support staff.
"He doesn't just listen, he asks a lot of questions and always has a clear point of view. He brings his own experiences to bear, whether that's from his range of other professional roles, or from just being a football-loving dad of two, who still gamely plays the game himself.
"Rumour has it that he occasionally uses his connections to help his team. One week he turned up to his regular six-a-side match, so we're told, and brought a friend to join his side - the friend was David Beckham."
Highlights of William's tenure as president have seen him help organise a competitive game at Buckingham Palace between two of England's oldest amateur clubs, Civil Service FC and Polytechnic FC, as part of the FA'S 150th anniversary celebrations in 2013.
He also played a role in England's bid to host the 2018 World Cup, joining a delegation in Switzerland in 2010 which included David Cameron and David Beckham, but it ultimately failed.
And in 2012 the Duke and his wife Kate opened St George's Park - the £105 million national centre of football excellence in Staffordshire.
Former Chelsea and Aston Villa defender Paul Elliott, a member of the FA's Inclusion Advisory Board, chatted to William about the footballing exploits of his daughter Princess Charlotte, who appears to be outshining older brother Prince George.
The Duke said of his 11-month-old daughter: "She's a very good footballer - you hold her hand and she kicks. Very sweet."
Mr Elliott said: "He said there were encouraging signs about his young daughter - and he's encouraging George to keep practising."