Banned Hereford footballer James Cutler sits out Buckingham Palace clash to chat with Prince William (From Hereford Times)
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Banned Hereford footballer James Cutler sits out Buckingham Palace clash to chat with Prince William
FOOTBALLER James Cutler was suspended for the biggest match of his life at Buckingham Palace.
But the born and bred Herefordian chatted to Prince William on the touchline during the first-ever football game at the historic venue.
James, 25, says Monday’s match is his top sporting moment even though he couldn’t take part.
“I have been playing for Civil Service FC but I am serving a 21-day suspension after being red-carded in a match,” said the former Woolhope and Lads Club defender.
“But, as it turned out, I got a chance to speak to Prince William for about 10 minutes.
“I also went on the pitch and listened to the team-talk and had a Mars bar served from a silver platter.”
The event saw two of England’s oldest clubs, Civil Service FC and Polytechnic FC, go head-to-head on a specially marked pitch to celebrate the FA’s 150th anniversary.
Prince William is president of the FA and warned players not to smash any of his gran’s windows. The Queen missed the match.
Premier League referee Howard Webb officiated in the Southern Amateur League fixture, which Cutler’s team lost 2-1.
“Prince William went for a kickaround at half-time with the Royal Household and,on the way back, he was on the touchline with us,” said James, a student in London. “I told him I wasn’t able to play because I was suspended and he said ‘not another one’. There were a few lads from the opposition who were also suspended.”
“There had been rumours that we might be playing a game at Wembley or at The Oval but the Palace was a great setting.
“We had a BT Sports camera crew on the bus with us and we went in through the front gates of the Palace,” added James, a big Hereford United fan.
“I have played cricket at New Road and sat on the bench against Luton Town in a friendly, but this experience is top of my list.”
Another Herefordian, Trevor Jones, from FC Phoenix, also missed the match. Trevor has been recognised by the FA as a grass-roots football hero “I was going to go with Ralph Farmer but Ralph was coming back from a holiday in France a few weeks ago when he slipped and broke a leg,” said Trevor.
“Ralph was so excited about going to the Palace but he is in hospital and was heartbroken he couldn’t make it. I couldn’t have gone without Ralph.”
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