• Football

Buckingham Palace to host FA match

ESPN staff
September 3, 2013

Buckingham Palace will host a match between two of England's oldest amateur clubs as part of the Football Association's 150th anniversary celebrations.

The Southern Amateur League fixture between Civil Service FC and Polytechnic FC has been organised in part by Prince William, the president of the FA, and will take place within the grounds of the royal residence in London on October 7 after the Queen gave her permission.

Wembley groundsman Tony Stones has been tasked with creating a pitch for the game in the 40-acre grounds more used to hosting garden parties and receptions for international guests than sporting events.

Civil Service - founded in 1863 - are the sole surviving club from the 11 which founded the FA in the Freemasons' Tavern in the same year and later drew up the original laws of association football. Polytechnic - who, like Civil Service, are based in Chiswick, West London - were founded in 1875.

At the match, 150 volunteers will be presented with medals by the Duke of Cambridge as a tribute to all of the 400,000 people who help organise local football around England every year.

"In our 150th year, it is hugely important for the FA to honour the efforts of the many thousands of volunteers who week in, week out, help to provide the opportunity for millions more people to enjoy football at grassroots level," the Prince said. "Inviting 150 of these volunteers to Buckingham Palace provides a fitting way for the FA to pay tribute and give thanks."

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