From left, Prime Minister David Cameron, Lt Cmdr Andrew Plenty, LCpl Louize Watson, Flt Lt Craig Richards and England football manager Roy Hodgson.
A SOCCER fan from the Isle of Wight, with an illustrious Royal Navy career, had the time of his life as a special guest to watch the England squad prepare for the World Cup.
Isle of Wight-born Lt Cmdr Andrew Plenty met Three Lions manager Roy Hodgson, the England squad and Prime Minister David Cameron as a guest of the FA through military charity, Tickets for Troops, at the state-of-the art training complex in Burton-on-Trent last Thursday.
The invitation was made to celebrate the charity’s donation of its 500,000th ticket to a member of the Armed Forces.
The father-of-two, who grew up in Niton but now lives in Praa Sands, Penzance, is responsible for air traffic management assurance for the navy, with Royal Navy HQ, based at RNAS (Royal Naval Air Station) Yeovilton.
Andrew, 40, a huge Pompey fan, said: "It was a wonderful day — a highlight of my naval career. I’m a big supporter of Tickets for Troops.
"I chatted to David Cameron, who was very interested in my previous deployments and navy life, and discussed with Roy Hodgson the pressures of football and being in the forces.
" I also spoke to England player Jordan Henderson and I made a bee-line for some Pompey legends — Noel Blake, who coaches the England Under 19s, and Guy Whittingham.
"It really was a once-in-a-lifetime event and nice to experience the World Cup preparations. The facilities at St George’s are stunning."
Andrew joined the Royal Navy at 19, following a short spell as a hairdresser.
When he was 18, he became a national hero when he appeared on BBC television programme 999 after he saved the lives of three people off Compton Bay in 1992.
Andrew, the head of Fleet Air Arm Football, will return to St George’s Park later in the year to study for a football management certificate.