Sunderland star Gary Bennett quizzes King on who he wants to win Wales vs England World Cup match

Gary Bennett, patron of Show Racism The Red Card, is made a Member of the Order of the British Empire by King Charles III at Windsor Castle. Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

The King just wants a “good game of football” from England’s World Cup clash against Wales, a former player has claimed.

Gary Bennett said he asked Charles who he will be supporting in the match, after collecting his MBE at Windsor Castle on Tuesday 29 November.

The former Sunderland AFC star's work with educational charity Show Racism The Red Card earned him the gong for services to anti-racism in football.

Gary Bennett, Patron of Show Racism The Red Card, is made a Member of the Order of the British Empire by the King. Credit: Yui Mok/PA

Speaking at the investiture ceremony, he told the PA news agency that getting his award from the King was the “icing on the cake”.

He added: “I was able to have a three or four-minute chat with him so that was fantastic, around football and especially tonight with the England vs Wales game, it sort of put him on the spot.

“I did ask who he’s going to support really in the game between England and Wales, I think he just wanted a good game of football.”

Pressed on what Charles said, he added: “He just wanted a good game.”

Gary Bennett, Patron of Show Racism The Red Card, after being made a MBE by the King at Windsor Castle. Credit: Member of the Order of the British Empire

Sharing his own thoughts, Mr Bennett said it will be a “difficult game for Wales on paper” but said they could get lucky on the night.

However, he said: “If they do get it right then England should win.”

On what more should be done to kick racism out of football, he said: “It’s not just racism, again, it’s about discrimination.

“I think it has been well highlighted, especially with the World Cup being in Qatar, but we’ve got to hopefully continue educating ourselves and educating people and raising the awareness.”

Dame Nia Griffith, Labour MP for Llanelli, Wales, was also excited about the so-called ‘battle of Britain’ football match.

Dame Nia Griffith after being made a Dame Commander by the King. Credit: Andrew Matthews/PA

Dame Nia, who collected her gong at the ceremony, said: “I’m very excited about the game tonight because I do think that when the Welsh get fired up and when the Welsh are facing the English you absolutely get the best out of them.

“And although we may not have been, shall we say, exactly enthused by their performance so far in Qatar, we are looking forward to tonight making up for all of that and looking forward to a fabulous victory.”

The two home nations meet at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium for their final group B fixture on Tuesday.

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