Buckingham Palace hosts its first football match
- 7 October 2013
- From the section UK
Buckingham Palace has held its first official football match to mark the Football Association's 150th anniversary.
The competitive fixture was the idea of FA president the Duke of Cambridge.
London side Civil Service FC, the only surviving team of 11 that formed the FA on 26 October 1863, lost 2-1 against Polytechnic FC, set up in 1875.
Prince William had told the players that if anyone broke a window they would "answer to" the Queen.
At half-time, palace footmen and women - wearing waistcoats and tail-coats - carried water, orange slices and chocolate bars on silver-plated platters onto the pitch for the players.
During the second half, the prince and former England striker Michael Owen joined in a training session with royal staff.
The prince, who presented medals to 150 volunteers before the kick off, recognised the efforts of the founders of local clubs, coaches, referees and other officials at a reception to mark the FA's Grassroots Heroes Day.
The duke told the guests, who included FA chairman Greg Dyke: "Over its 150 years, football has remained a wonderful example of the power of community and of our ability to come together to organise and to enjoy a simple pastime."
The Queen gave permission for the Southern Amateur League fixture to take place at the palace.
The duke joked: "Today we will be playing football on my grandmother's lawn. One warning, though - if anyone breaks a window, you can answer to her."
Wembley groundsman Tony Stones worked with royal household gardeners to create the 110 yards x 65 yards (100m x 60m) pitch in the 39-acre (16-hectare) garden.
The lawn had to be seeded in parts to repair wear and tear following a summer which saw the grounds host garden parties and the Coronation Festival.
Premier League referee Howard Webb, who officiated at the 2010 World Cup final match in South Africa, was in charge of the fixture.
Civil Service FC were selected to take part in the game and suggested that Polytechnic, who are also based in Chiswick, west London, would be fitting opponents.
Polytechnic FC manager Geoff Brown said: "We first played 120 years ago - so there's a fair bit of history between the two of us."
He added: "The organisation up to the day has been absolutely manic. It's only now we're getting the chance to soak it all up and get ready for the experience.
"It's only been this week that I was able to confirm that everybody in the first and second squads will be able to get to the game as well.
"So there's been a little bit of trepidation, with people not really knowing if they're going to be involved or not - but since Thursday everybody is really buzzing about it now.
"They all know they are going to be part of something very special."