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.”