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West Ham try to score royal following with George and Charlotte football shirts

As the Duke of Cambridge was welcomed by West Ham vice-chairman Karren Brady, Aston Villa fan William joked: “Right colours, wrong team.”

West Ham could soon have a royal following after the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were given replica football shirts for their young children.

The couple were handed the gifts by club captain Mark Noble as they visited the London Stadium, alongside Prince Harry, for the graduation ceremony of dozens of sports coaching apprentices, as part of the Coach Core scheme.

The claret and blue shirts were emblazoned with George and Charlotte’s names and ages, 4 and 2, respectively.

But whether the children will wear the shirts is still in question.

As he was welcomed by West Ham vice-chairman Karren Brady, Aston Villa fan William joked: “Right colours, wrong team.”

Speaking of his presents, Noble said: “It was just a little gift from West Ham really.

“We know William is an Aston Villa fan – whether they (the shirts) will get put on or not, I don’t know.

“It’s just a gesture from us to welcome them to the club.”

Noble was speaking to the Duke and Duchess as they watched practical sports sessions in action, including football, gymnastics, tennis and rugby.

Among the famous faces involved in the sessions was tennis coach Judy Murray, the mother of Andy and Jamie Murray.

She said it was “amazing” for William and Kate to be at the event, adding: “For them to be here is a huge inspiration for the young people.”

She said she spoke to the Duchess about her children and how parents can develop coordination skills at a young age, including playing with balloons.

Ms Murray stuck with the theme of West Ham – whose fans sing “I’m Forever Blowing Bubbles”, adding: “I was telling them to try bubbles as well.”

She said: “The Prince and the Duchess are very sporty, both of them, and I’m sure they will be keen for their kids to enjoy sport as well.”

Before the graduation ceremony William, Kate and Harry, attended a reception to meet key figures who have helped deliver the programme, as well as hearing about future plans for Coach Core.

The scheme, designed by the Royal Foundation, is designed to teach apprentices, aged between 16 and 24, technical sports skills alongside coaching, with an emphasis on employability.

The organisation says 98% of its graduates are in full-time employment or education, while 80% retain strong ties with their employers and continue to engage in community sport.

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