He was their biggest cheerleader when they were still in the tournament and as England’s Women’s Football Team went out of the World Cup in Canada heartbreakingly close to a place in the final, The Duke of Cambridge has been singing their praises again. Prince William has told the Lionesses they are now one of ‘England’s great teams’.
William was speaking after the team went out in the semi finals of the World Cup. They lost 2-1 to defending champions Japan after a last minute own goal from Laura Bassett ended the need for extra time and sent the Lionesses out of the competition.
The Duke of Cambridge, who is President of the Football Association, said in a statement ‘all football fans around the country will join me in sending their thanks to the Lionesses for what has been a thrilling ride in the World Cup. We were reminded last night that part of what makes the game great is the emotional roller coaster it can send us on.’
And William made reference to those emotions again as he continued ‘I know the team are bitterly disappointed but I hope more than that they will be proud of what they have achieved. They’ve inspired thousands of girls and boys around the country and entered history as one of England’s great teams.’
The Lionesses are only the third England football team to reach the semi finals of a World Cup. Ahead of their crunch match, Prince William made a surprise phone call to the squad to wish them luck. Only their manager, Mark Sampson, knew that William would be speaking to the team before the game – during that call he told the women they were a ‘true inspiration’. He had also wished them well in person before they headed off to Canada when they met at the National Football Centre at St George’s Park in Staffordshire.
Now the words of the FA President are ones of consolation but William was still showing his belief in their talents. The Lionesses must take on Germany in the third place play off match before they can head home and The Duke of Cambridge ended his statement with a brief but heartfelt sentence ‘I wish them the best of luck for their game on Saturday’.
Photo credit: Adam Clarke via Flickr