Mesmerised children from St Chad’s Primary School got to meet their England football heroes and Football Association President Prince William on the eve of the European Championships.

A team of pupils from the Lichfield school – part of the Arthur Terry Learning Partnership – competed in a schools’ tournament at England’s St George’s Park National Football Centre, where they also mingled with the stars before England departed for Euro 2024 in Germany.

Guest of honour Prince William met St Chad’s pupils and Head of School Jennifer Aitken (left).

England captain Harry Kane and Real Madrid star Jude Bellingham were among those who posed for pictures and chatted with the thrilled youngsters. The visit then finished in style when the schoolchildren waved off the team from their hotel.

Year 6 pupil Malakai said: “Thank you for letting me play football and meet the England players at St George’s Park. It’s been the best day of my life!”

Fellow Year 6 pupil Lucinda was introduced to Prince William and put the questions to Kane before being filmed about her experiences by ITV and Sky News.

Lucinda was a TV star on the day.

St Chad’s Head of School Jennifer Aitken, who managed to grab a selfie with the Prince of Wales, explained: “The event was organised by the FA for a selection of children from across the Midlands. At St Chad’s, we have Aston Villa coaches come in to work with pupils and one of them contacted me to ask if the school wanted to represent the club at the event.

Former Birmingham City star Jude Bellingham was back in the Midlands to meet young fans.

“It was such a privilege to be chosen. We weren’t sure if the children would actually get to meet the players or just watch them train, so to be able to meet them was incredible. Playing football at such a fantastic venue and then meeting the team is an experience they’ll never forget.

Declan Rice is all smiles meeting St Chad’s pupils.

“Once we’d arrived, we were told to expect a special guest and it was unbelievable when Prince William just casually strolled around the corner! He was very down to earth and relaxed and, like the players, had time for all the children.

“I’m so proud of how our children conducted themselves. Staff from several of the other schools made a point of telling me how respectful, courteous and well-behaved St Chad’s pupils were.”

Main picture: Team St Chad’s meet Harry Kane.