Right Royal Victory For Chiswick Poly At Palace Game

Triumph at Buckingham Palace marks 150 years of the FA


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Chiswick Polytechnic FC won a right royal victory when they beat Civil Service FC 2-1 at Buckingham Palace (October 7th). The unique football match between two of England's oldest clubs - both based in Chiswick - was refereed by Howard Webb who handled the last World Cup Final.

The Duke of Cambridge, who was instrumental in organising the match in his capacity as president of the FA, was on hand to meet the opposing teams in advance of the match and wish them luck.

Prince William meets the teams

The Queen gave permission for the Southern Amateur League fixture to take place at the palace. Prior to the match, 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."

Prior to the match, Polytechnic manager Geoff Brown said the feel-good factor around the club was palpable.He described it as a very special experience.

Prince William at a skills session earlier

Prince William presented medals to 150 volunteers before the kick-off in recognition of the efforts of the founders of local clubs, coaches, referees and other officials. The match formed the centerpiece of The FA’s Grassroots Heroes Day, in which the unsung stars were acknowledged at the special event at Buckingham Palace for their contribution to amateur football.

He told the guests, who included former England striker Michael Owen and 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."

Polytechnic's opponents, Civil Service FC is the only surviving member of the original 11 sides that joined The FA at its formation meeting on 26 October 1893.

And although only 12 years its junior, Polytechnic has an equally rich history.

Founded in 1875, they were formally known as Hanover United FC – and were the first club to lay claim to having the word ‘United’ in their name.

After being selected to take part in the game, the Civil Service suggested Polytechnic would be a fitting opponent – and since their recent promotion to the Southern Amateur League Division 1 it was possible for the game to be made into a competitive affair with three points at stake.

October 9, 2013

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