The Duke of Cambridge, Prince William, was at Bodymoor Heath on Tuesday and he had touching words for Aston Villa boss Dean Smith.
Prince William, a fan of the club himself, was at Villa’s training ground this week to officially open the new ‘High Performance Centre’ and he took the opportunity to speak with both the Villa boss and the players.
Smith’s father died last year after contracting COVID-19, and Prince William paid a classy tribute during his visit.
“Last year, head coach Dean Smith tragically lost his father, a life-long Villa fan and a former matchday steward,” he said, as quoted by BBC. “His loss is just one of the many ways the pandemic has impacted the club over the last 12 months.
“I want to offer my sincere condolences to Dean and pay tribute to his extraordinary contribution to the club since joining in 2018.
“I know your dad would be very proud.”
The Prince also spoke of his pride over being associated with the club which has worked hard through its foundation to help the community, especially during the course of the pandemic, while also joking that he “couldn’t think of a cooler place than Villa Park” to have a vaccination.
His words about Smith and his father though will no doubt be the focus as it was a wonderful sentiment and gesture, one that was no doubt appreciated by the Villa boss.
Like all of us, Prince William will no doubt now sit back and watch on as the final few weeks of the Premier League season play out, with Villa still hopeful of putting together a late run of form to possibly put ourselves back into the mix for a Europa League qualification spot.