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Wednesday 9 October Updated Wednesday 18 February

George revels in Royal visit

After Sunday's momentous victory at White Hart Lane, there was plenty to celebrate on Monday too, as West Ham United's grassroots hero, George Chukwuma, was honoured at Buckingham Palace.

Now into his seventh year with West Ham United Community Sports Trust, the 25-year-old was one of 150 volunteers selected for their service to football, in this poignant celebration of the FA's 150th anniversary.

HRH The Duke of Cambridge and FA Chairman Greg Dyke presented the guests with commemorative medals, before settling down to watch Civil Service FC take on Polytechnic FC, the first official football match ever held at the Palace.

Community sports development officer Chukwuma was thrilled to spend the day in such prestigious company and surroundings, with former England forward Michael Owen among the famous faces on show.

He told whufc.com: "All in all it was a brilliant day. Just being inside the Palace was amazing. When we arrived there were so many people standing outside. It was a lot to take in.

"And I met Michael Owen! I must admit I grew up as a Liverpool fan, so he was someone I grew up watching and meeting him was awesome."

As for the presentation itself, Chukwuma even had a message for Prince William, albeit based on the sound advice of Joe Cole, no less.

"I said exactly what Joe Cole told me to say," he explained. "I sent regards on behalf of everyone at West Ham United and the Prince looked pretty happy with that. The awards ceremony was brilliant, a really special moment for me."

Monday was the culmination of an eventful few days for Chukwuma, who visited the Club's Chadwell Heath training ground on Friday. The popular and much-respected mentor has been overwhelmed by all his well-wishers, since news of his accolade was announced here.

He continued: "I've been inundated with messages of support and congratulations, even from people that I've not been in contact with for some time.

"It's great to have everyone's backing and I'm so grateful that the Club have supported this as well."

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