Prince William has opened up on his love for Premier League survivors Aston Villa, and confessed he 'desperately didn't want' to support English giants Manchester United or Chelsea from a young age.
The Royal Prince has occasionally been pictured at Villa Park following his team, and he will have been delighted by their dramatic final day escape, after a tense 1-1 draw with West Ham United secured their safety.
But his footballing experience could have been very different, had he opted to support a Premier League giant such as the Red Devils or the Blues. Speaking on That Peter Crouch Podcast, Prince William looked back on his first ever Villa game, fondly remembering 'the atmosphere and team ethos' at the club.
The Duke of Cambridge said: “Only in the last few years have I really got a grip of Villa as my team. I watch them a lot. I get into stats and I watch them every week.
“It was the first FA Cup game I went to. It was a Villa vs Bolton game and I remember sitting in the stands with a beanie on. I must have been about 12 or 11 and I went with a load of mates.
"I sat there amongst all the Villa fans and I loved it. I thought the atmosphere and team ethos was great."
The future king then went on to express his gratitude that he didn't become 'like everyone else at school', instead supporting a club that 'had a real history' in Villa.
"I liked the idea that Villa had a real history, winning European cups and stuff like that.
"I felt a real connection with the club, more than I felt watching some of the other ones. Villa felt like a really proud Midlands club and it felt very special.”
As for his son George, Prince William is not pushing his Villa allegiance upon the youngster, and confessed he would have no problem with him cheering on Chelsea, now that Frank Lampard is at the helm.
He added: “Previously I was a bit concerned about him supporting Chelsea, but now Frank’s come in I feel the culture’s a bit different at Chelsea and I’d be ok with it. I do like the values and the ethos of the club.
"I want them to look after the players and set a good example to the young fans.
"I want our children, when they go the match, to come away loving what they’ve seen, enjoying it and seeing their role models behave in a way that we’d all want them to.”