Prince William jokes with Peter Crouch about using mock snipers in football
The Duke of Cambridge has joked about getting a protection officer to pose as a mock sniper during a football game as a child on Peter Crouch’s podcast.
Recorded before lockdown at Kensington Palace, BBC Radio 5 Live show That Peter Crouch Podcast saw the future King regaling the ex England striker with tales of kickabouts when he was at school – and using alternative methods to ward off a troublesome player.
William said that when he played ‘everyone wanted to break my legs’, before revealing his tactic for getting one up on an opponent. He laughed: ‘A long time ago, I got one of my policemen to take a laser pen out with them. And I got him to red mark, red dot one of the players.
‘I kept saying, “see, see what happened to you.” I was about 15 at the time I said, “see, he’s following you, following you.”‘
Crouch, laughing, responded: ‘Pretending to have a sniper on him?’ and William confirmed: ‘Exactly… it put him off for about, you know, 10 minutes.’
However, the duke admitted that his talents on the field were somewhat limited, referring to his defending style as a ‘fat knacker running around at the back, panting’.
In recent years, the father-of-three has expressed his love for the sport more as a spectator, with his passion for football club Aston Villa intensifying with age. He told Crouch and co-hosts Tom Fordyce and Chris Stark in the new episode that: ‘Since being a dad, without a doubt, football has become way more important to me than ever used to, it’s really weird. Like it’s changed a lot.
‘I need to go and be amongst other guys and kind of let out a bit of steam, shout a bit. Not abuse the referee – because I’m the president of the FA and I can’t do that – but in my head I am.’
During the relaxed conversation, which included the quartet enjoying beers and takeaway curries, the Duke also told of how he had a stag do in Blackpool, how Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody is his go-to karaoke song and mentioned a pair of binoculars given to Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, as an early courtship present that she hasn’t let him forget: ‘It didn’t go well’, he explained.
‘Honestly, I have no idea why I bought her a pair of binoculars, it seemed like a good idea at the time.’
When asked about how he coped with homeschooling Prince George, seven, Princess Charlotte, five, and two-year-old Prince Louis, the Duke said he discovered Kate had ‘super patience’ while he did not, but they worked well as a ‘tag’ team with his wife stepping in when things went wrong.
He added: ‘But I have to say I’m a bit embarrassed about my maths knowledge, I mean I can’t do a year two maths so that was quite an eye-opener as well.’
Crouch previously appeared on the BBC’s documentary A Royal Team Talk alongside William in May last year, when he talked about how the verbal abuse he suffered as a young man affected his mental health.
William, who has repeatedly highlighted mental health, also discussed his Heads Up campaign. He remarked: ‘We all have mental health, and we all have to stay mentally fit.
‘It’s a strength to talk about your mental health, it’s not a weakness. You know, if you’re not feeling well, something’s bothering you, talk about it – it’s not a problem.’
It comes amid claims that William’s brother Harry, the Duke of Sussex, was angered by William’s ‘snobbish’ attitude, after he referred to Meghan Markle as ‘this girl’ and advised him to ‘take as much time as you need’ to get to know her.