Prince William hosted an outdoor screening of the Heads Up FA Cup final on Queen Elizabeth II's Sandringham Estate in Norfolk on Saturday. It was attended by former Arsenal captain Tony Adams and Chelsea soccer player Fran Kirby. It also comprised a small group of frontline workers, beneficiaries of the campaign's charity partners, local fans and Heads Up ambassadors.
The game has been renamed officially in honour of mental health awareness, helping to spark a conversation on the subject.
Before the match, Prince William, 38, and England soccer manager Gareth Southgate, 49, sat down and spoke about the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on the nation's mental wellbeing, and the role football can play in encouraging more people to seek support. The duo came together for the final film "Sound of Support" of the Heads Up campaign at the Sandringham Estate.
The duo met during a socially distanced visit in the gardens of the queen's estate in July. Seated in different benches, they talked about mental health.
"The idea of being able to talk about it is not a weakness. The idea of being able to be open about your emotions and fix a problem is a positive, it's a strength, not a weakness. And I think that that culture is something that we hopefully are seeing a slight shift in," said the Duke of Cambridge in the Sound of Support series.
"I think there is very often this feeling 'I'm the only one, there's nowhere to go' and some of the most successful people in the world have had these issues or have problems with self-confidence, self-belief. It doesn't have to be an extreme case. There are various issues with people's mental health, that can affect how they feel or how they perform and it's making sure that we don't feel that there's a stigma for people, that it's acceptable to look for help," said Southgate.
He shared his experiences of overcoming challenges which had an impact on his mental health. Southgate expressed regret over missing the penalty at the Euro 1996 tournament.