England legend Wayne Rooney is coming out of retirement and taking to the pitch for Soccer Aid for UNICEF 2021.
The all-time record goalscorer will be joined by singers James Arthur and Tome Grennan, who will be taking to the pitch for the first time, alongside football stars Gary Neville and Paul Scholes.
Dermot O’Leary will host the England vs Soccer Aid World XI FC clash, which takes place on 4 September at Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium, with Alex Scott making her UNICEF presenting debut from the touchline.
Alex says she is delighted to be part of Soccer Aid: “I’m so excited for this! I’ve wanted to be involved in Soccer Aid for UNICEF for many years, so I am delighted to be part of it now as a pitch-side reporter. I’ve watched the games for years, and it’s something that I know loads of people look forward to. It’ll be great to be back in a stadium with fans again – and all for such a great cause. With so many great names already signed up – and many more to come – there’s no excuse not to get your tickets now!”
Other celebrities limbering up for the match include Usain Bolt, Olly Murs, Mark Wright, Paddy McGuinness, Ore Oduba, Kem Cetinay, Liv Cooke, and Roman Kemp.
A host of footballing royalty including Kelly Smith, Roberto Carlos, Patrice Evra, David James, Ashley Cole, Emile Heskey and Jamie Redknapp will also be hoping to make their mark on the 10th anniversary event.
Since 2006 – when UNICEF UK Ambassador Robbie Williams co-founded the concept – Soccer Aid for UNICEF has raised over £47m to help give children all over the world a childhood full of play. As many countries celebrate coming out of lockdown, the Covid 19 crisis is still making life for many vulnerable children even tougher. Soccer Aid for UNICEF 2020, at Old Trafford, raised a record-breaking £9.3m.
Rooney says he is ready to lace up his boots once again for England: “Pulling on an England shirt is always special, so I’m absolutely delighted to be doing that again in Soccer Aid for UNICEF this September. Managing the England team last year was great but being around the players made me want to lace up the boots again – now I’ve got that chance, one last time. Soccer Aid for UNICEF has been a massive force for good since it started back in 2006, and I know the public will support us again this year by purchasing tickets, which are now on sale.”
Tickets for the match are on sale at the Soccer Aid website with a family ticket (two adults and two children) for £60.