The Duke of Cambridge emerged victorious when he joined players and staff from England’s top leagues in a game of table football on Wednesday.
Despite two controversial refereeing decisions, William’s team cheered as they came away with a 4-2 victory over their opponents, at the event attended by football fans and staff from across the game.
He was joined on his side of the table by Chelsea player Fran Kirby, Crystal Palace’s Andros Townsend and Adebayo Akinfenwa from Wycombe Wanderers.
On the opposing side were former England captain Tony Adams, former Tottenham star Ledley King, Manchester United’s Scott McTominay and Fara Williams, who plays for Reading.
The score would have been a four-all draw, had two goals from the opposite team not been disallowed for bouncing back into the play table.
The duke attended the tournament, at the Heist Bank bar in Paddington, central London, to launch the Heads Up Weekends initiative, using football to start conversations on mental health.
Teams from across the Premier League, English Football League, The National League, The Barclays Women’s Super League, The FA Women’s Championship and The FA Women’s National League will dedicate their matches to mental health campaign Heads Up on February 8-9 and February 15-16.
The two weekends of planned activities at football matches across the country will aim to highlight communication as a way of supporting people, and normalise a difficult subject.
William described the match as “highly competitive” with “a lot of VAR decisions I enjoyed”.
He added: “Kind of an example of the Premier League this season.”
William has been an advocate for mental health charities, and in 2016 launched the Heads Together campaign with the Duchess of Cambridge and the Duke of Sussex.
After handing a signed football to the tournament’s winning team, the duke thanked the crowd for attending, and said: “The fact that we’re all here today, having a laugh, talking about mental health, raising the profile of mental health through football, is a real achievement.”
He added: “Mental health is a positive subject, it is something we can all talk about, it is something we can all get on board with, personally, for me, seeing and hearing some of your stories… whether you’re a professional footballer, whether you’re a fan… thank you for being a part of this. “