Plymouth Argyle supporter Sue Pollard off to Buckingham Palace to receive special award from Prince William
PLYMOUTH Argyle supporter Sue Pollard will receive a special award from HRH The Duke of Cambridge at The Football Association's 150th anniversary celebrations at Buckingham Palace next week.
Pollard, who was crowned the Football League's Fan of the Year for 2011/12, is one of 150 'volunteers' who will be presented with medals at the FA Grassroots Heroes reception on Monday.
The event is being hosted by The Duke of Cambridge, who is president of the FA.
Pollard admitted it was 'an absolute honour' to be invited to the ceremony at Buckingham Palace.
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She told Herald Sport: "I had a phone call, out of the blue, from someone at the FA about two or three weeks ago.
"He told me all about the event and mentioned that because of the Fan of the Year I would be involved.
"He went on to ask me what I had been doing since I won it, and about the club itself.
"When I came off the phone I thought, 'Did that just happen, was that for real?'
"I thought it was a wind-up at first but he did explain an email would be coming and, sure enough, it did a couple of days later."
Pollard won the Fan of the Year award in 2011/12 in recognition of her extensive fund-raising efforts when Argyle were in administration and the players and staff were not being paid.
She is an active member of the Green Taverners, as well as being a regular in the Devonport End at Home Park on match-days.
Pollard, who tries to shy away from publicity whenever possible, is now receiving royal approval for her 'outstanding contribution to football'.
She will be accompanied on the trip to Buckingham Palace by another Argyle supporter, Gill Black.
Pollard said: "It's an absolute honour, and it's not something that's going to happen in your life very often.
"It's quite humbling really and I'm looking forward to it."
There will be an official welcome from Greg Dyke, chairman of the FA, before The Duke of Cambridge makes a speech and presents the medals.
Pollard said: "My stomach will probably be doing somersaults when I meet Prince William."
The reception will be followed by a buffet lunch and then Buckingham Palace will host its first official football match in the afternoon.
It will be between two of England's oldest amateur clubs – Civil Service FC and Polytechnic FC, who are both based in Chiswick, west London.
Tony Stones, the head groundsman at Wembley Stadium, has worked with the royal household gardeners to create a pitch in the 40-acre garden at Buckingham Palace.
The Duke of Cambridge said: "In our 150th year, it is hugely important for the FA to honour the efforts of the many thousands of volunteers who week in, week out help to provide the opportunity for millions more to enjoy football at grassroots level."