Home News Prince William gathers with Arsenal players for heartbreaking mental health discussion

Prince William gathers with Arsenal players for heartbreaking mental health discussion


The Duke of Cambridge chatted to the Premier League team’s head coach Mikel Arteta, as well as players Hector Bellerin and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

In the call, the prince said that the FA Cup Final – to be renamed the Heads Up FA Cup Final in honour of the charity – would be “a moment to promote good, positive mental health for everyone”.

At one point, the Duke asked Arsenal captain Aubameyang whether he had encountered any players or staff who had struggled with their mental health.

He replied: “I was playing with some players that had some difficulties with their mental health.

“The most important [thing] is to be next to them and try to speak a lot with them.”

And Arteta highlighted the importance of creating a “safe environment” for players so that they could talk without being judged.

The virtual call came as the Emirates FA Cup Final is to be renamed the “Heads Up FA Cup Final” in honour of the initiative.

Heads Up is a joint campaign run between mental health charity Heads Together and the FA Cup.

William is closely linked to the charity, as it is spearheaded by the Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

It aims to tackle stigma surrounding mental health and “change the conversation”, as well as operating fundraising schemes.

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It isn’t the first time that the Heads Up initiative has been active. In February this year, there were ‘Heads Up Weekends’ which saw each fixture across the Premier League and EFL – including women’s matches – “dedicated to mental health”, the Royal Foundation added.

Prince William is closely linked with the Beautiful Game, not least due to his position as president of the FA.

He has also been involved in other mental health causes. The Duke said last week that he had been secretly working as a volunteer on the Royal Foundation’s ‘Shout’ mental health support helpline, the Guardian reports.

Since the helpline was launched in May 2019, over 330,000 text conversation have been held between its volunteers and people needing support, the Guardian adds.

Meanwhile, it has been decided that the Premier League will be resumed on Wednesday June 17.

It will be the first time that the top flight of British football kicks off since Monday March 9, when fixtures were postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

On June 17, The18.com reports that there will be two fixture – Aston Villa vs. Sheffield United and Manchester City vs. Arsenal.

The government had permitted the return of competitive sport starting June 1.

Within the FA cup, Arsenal hold the record for the most cup wins with 13 to date.


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