The Prime Minister met with Eastleigh FC players following their FA Cup run.

Rishi Sunak paid a visit to Silverlake Stadium in Eastleigh, home of the Spitfires, on Friday morning.

He had a chance to meet the first team players of the National League club as well as the coaches and managers.

The Prime Minister, who grew up in Southampton, learned about the club’s training programme which includes young players aged between 16 and 19 studying for a Btec in Sport.

He congratulated the players on their FA Cup run and told them: “Even my mum picked up on it and was excited.”

READ MORE: Rishi Sunak hits out at Eastleigh Borough Council’s ‘excessive debt’

Mr Sunak added: “When it comes to football, the thing that is important to me is making sure that we have sport that we all love, that’s supported and protected into the future.

“And clubs like this are a great example of the benefits that football bring to the local community like the cup run that has done an enormous amount to just boost a local community and bring everyone together.

“And that is why we want to bring forward plans for a football regulator to make sure that the sport that we all love and is so intrinsic to the fabric of our country is protected into the future; that clubs are sustainable; that fans, importantly, have their voices heard and big decisions and, crucially, funding works across the football pyramid.

“We need to make sure that the funding reaches all the clubs and that’s why we’re bringing forward those plans to protect the sport.”

Eastleigh were knocked out at the fourth round of the Cup on Tuesday after suffering a 3-1 loss to Newport County.