Webb set for a Royal appointment
SHORTWOOD stalwart Mark Webb is set for a Royal appointment with Prince William.
Groundsman and club secretary Mark will be swapping the turf of Meadowbank for Buckingham Palace, as The Duke of Cambridge, president of The FA, presents medals to 150 grassroots volunteers in recognition of their dedication to the sport.
The recipients were chosen for their outstanding contribution to football including helping to develop the women's game, providing opportunities for disabled players and refereeing.
William praised the 400,000 volunteers every year who help run local matches.
The Duke said: "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.
"Inviting 150 of these volunteers to Buckingham Palace provides a fitting way for The FA to pay tribute and give thanks."
Prince William will also host a football match at Buckingham Palace as part of The Football Association's 150th anniversary celebrations.
The Duke of Cambridge helped arrange the game between two of England's oldest amateur clubs in the gardens of the famous landmark - marking its first ever official football game. Civil Service FC and Polytechnic FC, both based in Chiswick, west London, are preparing to go head to head in the unique Southern Amateur League fixture at the Palace on Monday, October 7.
The Queen gave her permission for the match and Wembley groundsman Tony Stones will work with the royal household gardeners to create a pitch in the 40 acre garden.
Greg Dyke, chairman of The FA, added: 'These volunteers like Mark are the heartbeat of football. Without them, the game simply wouldn't function at a grassroots level and it is only right that The FA honours their tireless and selfless work.
"We are delighted that, in his role as president of The FA, HRH The Duke of Cambridge has given his support to this initiative - even going as far as arranging for the first ever game of football to be played at Buckingham Palace in honour of our grassroots heroes."
After recently scooping a national groundsman gong, Liverpool fan Webb will also enjoy a gala dinner at the Palace with partner Sarah, and be a guest of the FA at the crucial World Cup qualifier between England and Poland at Wembley on October.
Mark said: "It is brilliant and I am very honoured - but this is also an honour for Shortwood.
" To dine at the Palace, watch a game at the Palace and then watch England at Wembley - is a dream come true."
Club spokesman Jim Cunneen said: "Everyone connected with the club is thrilled for Mark and congratulates him on this tremendous recognition of his service to the game and the club he loves."
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