Steven Gerrard dedicates Aston Villa win to Prince William after grieving Royal sent squad inspiring pre-match message

    STEVEN GERRARD dedicated Aston Villa’s 1-0 win over Southampton to Prince William after the grieving Royal sent his team a pre-match message.

    Last night’s match marked the first time that Prince William’s beloved Villa have been in action since the passing of his grandmother Queen Elizabeth II aged 96.

    Steven Gerrard was delighted with his side's scrappy win

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    Steven Gerrard was delighted with his side’s scrappy winCredit: Reuters
    Prince William is a huge Aston Villa fan

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    Prince William is a huge Aston Villa fanCredit: Getty

    Following his side’s much needed win, Gerrard proudly revealed Prince William’s pre-match words of encouragement.

    Asked about the Royal after the match, the Villa boss said: “I’m sure he probably knows the result, knowing him and how much he loves this club, he’ll know the result and I’m sure he’ll be very proud of the clean sheet.

    “He messaged through the week, to the club, and I think that shows everything he thinks of this club and how much support he wants to give.

    “For us to reward that with a result and a clean sheet, I’m sure he will be extremely proud.”

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    Further quizzed about the nature of William’s message, Gerrard added: “Yeah, it was along the lines of ‘would love to be there’. But obviously everyone understands his personal situation.

    “But he is consistently in touch. He is very supportive of the boys individually, he loves them.

    “I’ve spoken to him about them all. It’s really impressive, his knowledge, and how much he is in to it.

    “It certainly took me back and surprised me. He is very much involved in Villa. For him to message in the situation he is in is really impressive.”

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    Gerrard, 42, felt touched by the pre-match atmosphere at Villa Park.

    He said: “It was a special night. Pre-game was very special, very emotional.

    “The club did an extremely good job to pay our tributes and I felt very proud of what the club put on before the game. It was special.

    “We said to the boys once that’s over it’s important we focus on our game plan and what we need to do. They did that extremely well, they were focused throughout. We managed the game extremely well.

    “We won an important game on a special night without being pretty.”

    He then added: “To sing the song, the hairs on your neck are standing up. It felt special, I felt proud. I was reminiscing about my England days – about the MBE and meeting the Queen.

    “I was going back to my personal engagements with the Royal Family. So it was very special from a personal point of view and credit to the club for putting on a wonderful show before the game. I thought it was very fitting.”

    Villa Park paid tribute to Queen Elizabeth II

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    Villa Park paid tribute to Queen Elizabeth IICredit: AP

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