William hails power of football as he joins emergency responders for Scottish Cup final

22 May 2021, 18:00 | Updated: 22 May 2021, 20:03

By Patrick Grafton-Green

Prince William hailed the power of football in bringing people together and tackling mental health as he joined fans from across Scotland's emergency services to watch the Scottish Cup final.

The Duke of Cambridge sat with fans at the Cold Town House rooftop bar in Edinburgh for the match between St Johnstone and Hibernian on Saturday afternoon.

He spent time speaking to the emergency responders about how they have coped during the pandemic, as well as family members suffering trauma or bereavement.

READ MORE: Prince William: Scotland is source of my happiest and saddest memories

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and their charity the Royal Foundation have worked throughout the pandemic to support those on the frontline of the UK’s Covid-19 response.

A tweet from the royal couple’s official Twitter account read: “Football is powerful in so many ways. Not only in its ability to bring people together... but also how it uses its platform to continue the conversation around mental health.”

A second tweet added: “Many of the emergency responders today were open about the mental health challenges they’ve experienced during the pandemic and how they coped throughout.

“We must ensure that all emergency responders receive the mental health support they need.”

LBC spoke to some of the frontline staff and family members who William talked to.

“We talked about some of the difficulties that all of us have faced,” one said.

Another added: “He seems to care quite a lot about mental health, genuinely... how to get people to talk and support each other, so it was nice to see him genuinely interested.”

William began a week-long visit to Scotland on Friday and Kate will join him on Monday for the rest of the tour.

He was in Edinburgh on Friday for his Heads Together initiative that uses football to fight the stigma of not talking about mental health issues in young men.

The duke has previously spoken about the impact of "traumatic" air ambulance call-outs while he was serving as an air ambulance pilot, which nearly took him "over the edge".