Prince William is a Tractor Boy

IPSWICH Town supporters have been left wondering whether the club has a famous new follower - and if it's true, this one is right out of the top drawer.

By Danielle Nuttall

IPSWICH Town supporters have been left wondering whether the club has a famous new follower - and if it's true, this one is right out of the top drawer.

For on Saturday, none other than the future king, Prince William, was snapped sporting a Town kit as he took part in a match with friends on his return to Eton College.

His kit choice - an old ITFC academy shirt dating back to 2001 - was somewhat of a surprise considering William is a long-time Aston Villa fan, and it led Ipswich fans to speculate whether he had switched teams.


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The 23-year-old prince was playing a Field Game match for his former house's old boys team. Field Game is a cross between rugby and football, using hockey-size goals.

Watching was girlfriend Kate Middleton, who just a day earlier had been a guest of Prince Charles at the Cheltenham Festival.

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One onlooker said: “No-one could work out why he was wearing an Ipswich shirt. Everyone presumed he was still a Villa fan. Maybe he's switched allegiance.”

Bryan Klug, ITFC Academy director, said last night: “Joe's always said the whole Royal Family is behind the academy. I didn't realise he meant it.”

But he was at a loss to explain why the prince was wearing the old ITFC shirt.

“The kits do get recycled and sent out to under-privileged kids but he doesn't really fit into that category,” he added.

Andrew Redfern, chairman of the Ipswich Town Supporters Club, said if the future king decided to check out one of Town's home games for himself, then he would be most warmly received.

“Most people are under the impression Prince William is an Aston Villa fan but if we can get him to support a Championship team this season then why not Ipswich?

“I'm sure the club would be delighted for him to come and watch Ipswich here. It would be nice for someone of that walk of life to be seen as an Ipswich Town fan. It would put a smile on people's faces.

“It can only be good PR.”

But any hopes of the prince sending off for his ITFC season ticket were dashed last night by his press spokesman, who said: “He's still a Villa fan. He hasn't switched sides.”

The spokesman said he did not have an explanation for why William was wearing a Town shirt.

“I guess someone had a few of them around,” he added.

During the match, William showed he was fighting fit after two months of army training at Sandhurst, where he is training to be an army officer.

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