Groundsman proud to work on palace pitch

Karl Standley, a groundsman at Wembley Stadium, marks out the the lines of a football pitch in the gardens of Buckingham Palace, central London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday September 19, 2013. The Palace is to host its first official football match as part of the Football Association's 150th anniversary celebrations. The Duke of Cambridge, president of the FA, helped arrange the game between two of England's oldest amateur clubs. Civil Service FC and Polytechnic FC, both based in Chiswick, they will play at the palace on October 7th. See PA story ROYAL Football. Photo credit should read: John Stillwell/PA Wire

Karl Standley, a groundsman at Wembley Stadium, marks out the the lines of a football pitch in the gardens of Buckingham Palace, central London. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday September 19, 2013. The Palace is to host its first official football match as part of the Football Association's 150th anniversary celebrations. The Duke of Cambridge, president of the FA, helped arrange the game between two of England's oldest amateur clubs. Civil Service FC and Polytechnic FC, both based in Chiswick, they will play at the palace on October 7th. See PA story ROYAL Football. Photo credit should read: John Stillwell/PA Wire

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Buckingham Palace’s garden has been marked out with a football pitch in preparation for the first official match at the Queen’s home – with help from a South Yorkshire man.

Wembley Stadium grounds manager Tony Stones, aged 37, from Barnsley, has been working with the royal household gardeners to create a pitch in the 39-acre garden.

Two of England’s oldest amateur clubs – Civil Service FC and Polytechnic PC – will play in the match on Monday, October 7, as part of the Football Association’s 150th anniversary celebrations.

Tony said: “We treat every game the same so everything gets 100 per cent care, whether it’s a company day, a game at Buckingham Palace or the Champions League final.”

Prince William, president of the FA, helped arrange the Southern Amateur League fixture. He will host the event and also present medals to 150 grassroots volunteers in recognition of their dedication to the sport.

Tony said: “It’s an honour to be at the palace, but it’s not about us, it’s about the volunteers getting recognised.”

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