Having royal protection officers at your beck and call has its advantages.

The Duke of Cambridge has revealed how, as a schoolboy footballer, he asked a bodyguard to ward off a rival player by posing as a sniper.

William said when he played "everyone wanted to break my legs" so he once asked a policeman to shine a laser's red dot on the troublesome opponent – although the trick only worked to keep him away for away for 10 minutes.

The future king's candid comments came as he shared embarrassing stories over a pint during an appearance on BBC Radio Five Live's That Peter Crouch Podcast. During the chat at Kensington Palace, they had a curry delivered.


The duke also spoke about the Heads Up campaign to get football fans talking about their emotions.

Prince William seen captaining his side at Eton. Photo / Getty Images
Prince William seen captaining his side at Eton. Photo / Getty Images

During the wide-ranging chat, he revealed he enjoyed a stag do in Blackpool, Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody is his go-to karaoke song, and a pair of binoculars given to Kate as a present early in their relationship was not well received.

During the podcast, recorded before lockdown started and featuring a catch-up video call from earlier this month, William said: "A long time ago, I got one of my policemen to take a laser pen out with them. And I got him to red mark, red dot one of the players.

"I was about 15 at the time, I said, 'see, he's following you, following you'."

Crouch, a former England forward, asked: "Pretending to have a sniper on him?" and William replied: "Exactly ... it put him off for about, you know, 10 minutes."

The self-deprecating duke, an avid Aston Villa fan, also referred to his defending style as a "fat knacker running around at the back, panting".

BBC Radio Five Live's That Peter Crouch Podcast is available to download from Wednesday.