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FOOTBALL: Bob blown away by palace visit
VETERAN football coach Bob Mowlem was blown away by his experience at Buckingham Palace as part of the FA’s 150th anniversary celebrations.
The 66-year-old from Dorchester was one of 150 grassroots heroes to be presented with a special commemorative medal for services to the game at a ceremony hosted by HRH The Duke of Cambridge, the president of the FA.
Mowlem described his visit to London as “absolutely brilliant” and thoroughly enjoyed rubbing shoulders with royalty and the likes of FA chairman Greg Dyke.
“It was unbelievable,” said Mowlem, who currently coaches teams in Dorchester and Weymouth. “I’ve been to big houses before but nothing compared to that.
“I had my medal from the chairman of the FA then met Prince William, who shook my hand and congratulated me.
“We had some pictures taken and it all went by so quickly.”
As part of the event, the first-ever football match at Buckingham Palace, officiated by World Cup final referee Howard Webb, saw Polytechnic FC beat Civil Service FC 2-1 in a Southern Amateur League game.
Mowlem added: “There was a buffet after the ceremony and then we had the freedom of the palace.
“We watched some of the match and saw Prince William train with the household team.
“I spoke to Howard Webb and he was fabulous, very different to the ruthless figure he appears to be on the television.
“When we were leaving I waved to the police at the gates and when they waved back I think all the tourists outside thought I was someone famous.
“I had a great time and have got a fantastic medal and certificate to remember it by.”
Mowlem, who has been coaching for 50 years, also bumped into the parent of a player he used to coach at Milborne who was serving refreshments on his arrival.
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