Prince William with Jarrod Bowen

Bowen receives Royal send-off to UEFA Euro 2024

Jarrod Bowen and his England teammates received a Royal send-off to UEFA Euro 2024 when William, Prince of Wales, visited Gareth Southgate and his squad at St George’s Park on Monday.

The West Ham United winger and his 25 fellow Three Lions were each given a bespoke package containing their shirt for the tournament in Germany and a number of other personal mementos, including an image of a young Bowen playing for his local junior club Leominster Minors in Herefordshire.

Bowen’s box explained that he will be just the eleventh player to wear the No20 for England at a major tournament, following the likes of Alan Shearer at Euro 92 and future Hammer Kieron Dyer at Euro 2004.

The Hammers star and his fellow England squad members also received a rousing speech from their Royal visitor, who is president of the Football Association.

All of you have had fantastic seasons. I’ve seen every single one of you play this season and you’ve all done amazingly well
William, Prince of Wales

“I thought what ‘what could I say?’ to an experienced team and Gareth to help and I was doing the school run this morning with the children and I said to them ‘what can I say to the England team today?’ and the best bit of advice I got to give you was ‘eat twice the amount you usually would eat!’,” Prince William smiled, sharing the wisdom he had received from his son, Prince Louis.

“I had visions of you running around with massive great tummies and with stitches on the pitch, so take my youngest’s advice with a pinch of salt!”

The 27-year-old will be better served taking Prince William’s subsequent words to heart as he prepares to play in his first major international tournament, having scored 20 goals and assisted ten more during a superb 2023/24 campaign in Claret and Blue.

Prince William with Jarrod Bowen and the England squad

“Tournament football, it’s a big deal,” he told the England players. “All of you have had fantastic seasons. I’ve seen every single one of you play this season and you’ve all done amazingly well.

“Club football is now here, and tournament football is now over here. Tournament football is brutal and it requires a lot more than you’ve already given. You had a long, long season as it is and we’re going to ask you to go again.

“It’s going to be difficult, it’s going to be fun, it’s going to be challenging, it’s going to be everything you’ve ever dreamed of wearing that England shirt, and you’re going to have to draw on all those experiences of club football.

“I think the biggest thing I’ve learned from seeing you guys over the years and being in the dressing room is the togetherness and I get that and what Gareth has instilled in you over the years, you’re  a unit, you fight for each other and you play for each other and you really care about putting that shirt on.

“I just want you guys to know how much it means to everyone back here [in England] that you go out there, give it your all, play for your shirt, play for each other and play for the country, because everyone is behind you and we really care about what you do. “I wish you all the best.”


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