William and Kate join Windsor Park kickabout during Belfast visit

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge joined a kickabout at the home of football in Northern Ireland at the start of a two-day visit to the region.

William and Kate were on opposing sides during a high-energy game with local schoolchildren at Windsor Park in Belfast.

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Kate and William in Northern Ireland
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Kate and William in Northern Ireland
The Duchess of Cambridge during a visit to the SureStart Facility in St Joseph's Primary School in Ballymena as part of their two day visit to Northern Ireland.
The Duchess of Cambridge during a walkabout outside the Braid Arts Centre in Ballymena as part of their two day tour to Northern Ireland.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge leave after their visit to the Braids Arts Centre in Ballymena to see the workings of the CineMagic charity as part of their two day visit to Northern Ireland.
The Duchess of Cambridge during their visit to the Braids Arts Centre in Ballymena to see the workings of the CineMagic charity as part of their two day visit to Northern Ireland.
The Duchess of Cambridge pulls a pint with the Duke of Cambridge during their visit to Belfast Empire Hall for an informal party to celebrate inspirational young people who are making a real difference in Northern Ireland as part of their two day visit to Northern Ireland.
BELFAST, NORTHERN IRELAND - FEBRUARY 27: Prince William, Duke of Cambridge and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge pull pints of lager as they visit the Empire Music Hall on February 27, 2019 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Prince William last visited Belfast in October 2017 without his wife, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, who was then pregnant with the couple's third child. This time they concentrate on the young people of Northern Ireland. Their engagements include a visit to Windsor Park Stadium, home of the Irish Football Association, activities at the Roscor Youth Village in Fermanagh, a party at the Belfast Empire Hall, Cinemagic -a charity that uses film, television and digital technologies to inspire young people and finally dropping in on a SureStart early years programme. (Photo by Matt Mackey - Pool/Getty Images)
The Duchess of Cambridge arrives at the Empire Music Hall in Belfast, as part of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's two day visit to Northern Ireland.
The Duchess of Cambridge pulls a pint with the Duke of Cambridge during their visit to Belfast Empire Hall for an informal party to celebrate inspirational young people who are making a real difference in Northern Ireland as part of their two day visit to Northern Ireland.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge leave after a visit to the Empire Music Hall in Belfast, as part of their two day visit to Northern Ireland.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge leave after a visit to the Empire Music Hall in Belfast, as part of their two day visit to Northern Ireland.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge leave after their visit to Belfast Empire Hall for an informal party to celebrate inspirational young people who are making a real difference in Northern Ireland as part of their two day visit to Northern Ireland.
The Duchess of Cambridge takes part in a coaching session during hers and the Duke of Cambridge's visit to Windsor Park, Belfast as part of their two day visit to Northern Ireland.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge playing football with young children during their visit to Windsor Park, Belfast as part of their two day visit to Northern Ireland.
The Duke of Cambridge takes part in a coaching session during his and the Duchess of Cambridge's visit to Windsor Park, Belfast as part of their two day visit to Northern Ireland.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge speaking with Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill during their visit to Windsor Park, Belfast as part of their two day visit to Northern Ireland.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge signing the visitors book during their visit to Windsor Park, Belfast as part of their two day visit to Northern Ireland.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge take part in a coaching session during their visit to Windsor Park, Belfast as part of their two day visit to Northern Ireland.
The Duke of Cambridge takes part in a coaching session during his and the Duchess of Cambridge's visit to Windsor Park, Belfast as part of their two day visit to Northern Ireland.
The Duchess of Cambridge takes part in a coaching session during hers and the Duke of Cambridge's visit to Windsor Park, Belfast as part of their two day visit to Northern Ireland.
The Duchess of Cambridge during her and the Duke of Cambridge's visit to Roscor Youth Village, Co Fermanagh as part of their two day tour of Northern Ireland.
The Duchess of Cambridge takes part in a coaching session during hers and the Duke of Cambridge's visit to Windsor Park, Belfast as part of their two day visit to Northern Ireland.
The Duchess of Cambridge speaks to child (name not given) during her and the Duke of Cambridge's visit to Roscor Youth Village, Co Fermanagh as part of their two day tour of Northern Ireland.
The Duchess of Cambridge takes part in a canoe lesson during her and the Duke of Cambridge's visit to Roscor Youth Village, Co Fermanagh as part of their two day tour of Northern Ireland.
The Duchess of Cambridge takes part in a canoe lesson during her and the Duke of Cambridge's visit to Roscor Youth Village, Co Fermanagh as part of their two day tour of Northern Ireland.
The Duchess of Cambridge takes part in a canoe lesson during her and the Duke of Cambridge's visit to Roscor Youth Village, Co Fermanagh as part of their two day tour of Northern Ireland.
RETRANSMITTED ADDING NAME OF CHILD The Duchess of Cambridge comforts Jasmine Andrews who become emotional as she takes part in a coaching session during hers and the Duke of Cambridge's visit to Windsor Park, Belfast as part of their two day visit to Northern Ireland.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge during their visit to Windsor Park, Belfast as part of their two day visit to Northern Ireland.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with IFA Education and Heritage manager Stephen Garrett are being shown the Nations Cup by Gemma Thornbury IFA Education and Heritage officer during their visit to Windsor Park, Belfast as part of their two day visit to Northern Ireland.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge receiving football shirts for their children on their arrival for their visit to Windsor Park, Belfast as part of their two day tour to Northern Ireland.
The Duke of Cambridge on an obstacle course during his and the Duchess of Cambridge's visit to Roscor Youth Village, Co Fermanagh as part of their two day tour of Northern Ireland.
The Duke of Cambridge on an obstacle course during his and the Duchess of Cambridge's visit to Roscor Youth Village, Co Fermanagh as part of their two day tour of Northern Ireland.
The Duchess of Cambridge tries her hand at archery as she meets children during her and the Duke of Cambridge's visit to Roscor Youth Village, Co Fermanagh as part of their two day tour of Northern Ireland.
The Duchess of Cambridge tries her hand at archery as she meets children during her and the Duke of Cambridge's visit to Roscor Youth Village, Co Fermanagh as part of their two day tour of Northern Ireland.
The Duchess of Cambridge meeting children during her and the Duke of Cambridge's visit to Roscor Youth Village, Co Fermanagh as part of their two day tour of Northern Ireland.
The Duchess of Cambridge meeting children during her and the Duke of Cambridge's visit to Roscor Youth Village, Co Fermanagh as part of their two day tour of Northern Ireland.
The Duke of Cambridge meeting children during his and the Duchess of Cambridge's visit to Roscor Youth Village, Co Fermanagh as part of their two day tour of Northern Ireland.
The Duchess of Cambridge meets wellwishers on her arrival for her visit to Windsor Park, Belfast as part of her and the Duke of Cambridge's two day visit to Northern Ireland.
The Duke of Cambridge on his arrival for her visit to Windsor Park, Belfast as part of his and the Duchess of Cambridge's two day tour to Northern Ireland.
The Duchess of Cambridge on her arrival for her visit to Windsor Park, Belfast as part of her and the Duke of Cambridge's two day visit to Northern Ireland.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge arriving for their visit to Windsor Park, Belfast as part of their two day visit to Northern Ireland.
The Duchess of Cambridge meets wellwishers on her arrival for her visit to Windsor Park, Belfast as part of her and the Duke of Cambridge's two day visit to Northern Ireland.
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Having donned trainers for the occasion, both participated with gusto, running about with their young teammates, passing and tackling during the well-spirited encounter.

The tour of the recently redeveloped stadium marked the first engagement on what is the couple's third official visit to Northern Ireland.

Later they were greeted by cheering children as they arrived at an outdoor activity centre in Co Fermanagh, and on Wednesday night they will attend an informal party for young people at Belfast's famous Empire music hall.

On the Windsor Park turf, the duke and duchess both had a go at dribbling drills, to the delight of the young footballers.

Kate ran around a marked-out square, keeping the ball under control, and also jogged up and down on the spot.

At one point, the duchess hugged and comforted nine-year-old Jasmine Andrews after she became emotional about the occasion.

Jasmine, a pupil at Fane Street primary school, later revealed how Kate had made her smile through the tears.

She said: "I got a little bit nervous and started to cry and she asked me was I a little bit shy, and I said 'I am', and she said that she used to be shy when she was little too."

Igor Lackis, nine, said he had been impressed by the couple's footballing skills.

"We were playing a football match together and they were pretty good, both of them were really good," he said.

"I blocked the prince's shots attempting to score."

During their tour of the venue, the couple also met Northern Ireland footballing great Pat Jennings.

The former Tottenham and Arsenal goalkeeper is Northern Ireland's record caps holder, with 119 appearances during a career that took in the 1982 and 1986 World Cups.

William and Kate were shown a bronze cast print of the stopper's celebrated "safe hands" as they walked through the stadium's heritage centre.

As William extended his arm to shake Jennings's hand, he said: "Now there's a man who needs no introduction."

William later put his own hands in the print, remarking to the record-breaking keeper: "You have really long fingers."

Afterwards, Jennings praised the attitude of the royals.

"They are a special couple," he said. "To come and do what they did today, entertained us and the kids.

"They have given not only us but the kids a day that they will never forget."

Current Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill accompanied the couple on their tour of the venue.

O'Neill, who himself won 31 caps playing for Northern Ireland, has been credited with bringing the glory days back to the team during his tenure as boss.

He led the side to its first major tournament in 30 years at the 2016 European Championships in France.

Of the royal visitors, he said: "They are so personable, easy to chat to and made everybody feel relaxed."

The national manager praised William's football knowledge but joked that he should not count on his beloved Aston Villa making a return to the top of English football just yet.

"I don't think he's overly optimistic about watching Premiership football as a Villa fan in the near future," said O'Neill.

"He certainly knows his football and was very knowledgeable about how we had done and with the European Championship and the games that we face that lie ahead."

During the visit, the couple learned more about the Irish Football Association's community football projects and its work breaking down some of Northern Ireland's traditional divides through sport.

They met people involved in an initiative aimed at encouraging more women into key decision-making roles within the game and also chatted to youngsters involved in the Goal programme – a project designed for those not in employment, education or training.

William and Kate also heard about IFA workshops and education courses that help students develop life skills.

They learned about the Stay Onside initiative, which works with criminal justice agencies in a bid to reduce offending rates.

The Cambridges also heard more about the game of Powerchair, an adapted version of football for wheelchair users.

As they left the stadium at the end of the visit, three school children presented the couple with three green Northern Ireland home shirts, with the names of their children George, Charlotte and Louis on the backs.

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