‘It took me aback’: Steven Gerrard opens up on supportive message from Prince William

The Duke of Cambridge, a lifelong Villa fan, sent the message while he was in London preparing for Her Majesty’s state funeral. Aston Villa won the match 1-0 thanks to a Jacob Ramsey goal in a scrappy uninspiring clash which allowed them to climb to 13th after their second win of the season.

Steven Gerrard, the manager of the team, revealed the Prince, who is president of the football association, sent a message to the club in the buildup to the game.

The former Liverpool and England midfielder said he thought it was impressive that the Prince was in contact considering her grandmother’s death.

He said: “He messaged in the week, to the club, and that shows everything about what he thinks of this club.

“It certainly took me aback.

“He is very much involved in Villa.

“For him to message in the situation he is in is really impressive.”

Following Friday evening’s victory Mr Gerrard said the Duke would be “proud” of the result.

The former Rangers manager also revealed that the royal is frequently in touch with people at the club. 

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“It’s really impressive, his knowledge and how much he is in to it.”

Speaking in 2020, the Duke revealed that he decided to support Aston Villa after being inspired by the example of midfielder Paul Merson who was playing despite suffering from addiction problems.

He also explained that he was born in 1982 when Aston Villa won the European Cup by beating Bayern Munich 1-0 in Rotterdam thanks to a goal from Peter Withe.

He said: “People like Paul Merson were playing and I thought if people like him can play as well as he does, knowing the struggles he was under at the time…this is a club I can support.

“I was also born in ‘82, the year we won the (European) Cup, so I feel the history and pedigree around Villa has always been quite close to me.”