Soccer Aid for Unicef will take part this weekend for the first time ever behind-closed-doors at Old Trafford, the home of Manchester United.
The programme, being produced by Initial, will be broadcast exclusively live on ITV and STV.
Comedian Jason Manford, rapper Santan Dave and Manchester United legend Patrice Evra will all make their debuts for the Soccer Aid World XI FC. Kelly Smith MBE – who was capped over 100 times for England and represented Great Britain at the London 2012 Summer Olympics – is also playing for the first time. Goalkeeper David James, a Premier League stalwart, will join Kelly in representing England.
The Three Lions’ ranks have been boosted further with Joe Wicks confirming that he will play. Meanwhile, Olly Murs returns to the fold following the knee surgery which ruled him out of the 2019 match. Kem Cetinay, who scored a wondergoal at last year’s Stamford Bridge clash, is also returning to pull on the Soccer Aid World XI FC shirt once again.
ITV family favourite Dermot O’Leary will present the live show with Kirsty Gallacher returning as pitch side reporter.
Soccer Aid for Unicef is the world’s biggest celebrity football match, raising money to give children the best start in life. Around the world, coronavirus is disrupting everything – it’s closing schools, stopping children getting vital vaccines, and making life in disaster zones tougher than ever. A whole generation of children are in danger.
Soccer Aid for Unicef will help stop the spread of coronavirus and limit the impact on children’s lives. This year, for the first-time in the match’s history, the UK government and Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance, will both match public donations to SoccerAid for Unicef, meaning every £1 donated becomes £3 – up to £3 million – until 6 Oct 2020.
Since 2006, Soccer Aid for Unicef has raised over £38m to help give children all over the world a childhood full of play. Soccer Aid for Unicef 2019 raised a record breaking £7.9m.
Dermot O’Leary said:
“I’m thrilled to be back hosting this year’s Soccer Aid for Unicef match. It’s always a pleasure tobe involved in such a great cause. It will be a little different this year with no crowds in the stadium but fans can still tune in on ITV and hopefully we’ll raise even more money to improve children’s lives around the world. It’s also going to be a whole lot of fun and hopefully bring a little light relief in these strange times.”
Kelly Smith MBE added:
“It’s an honour to be asked to play in Soccer Aid for Unicef. I was delighted to see female players playing in the game for the first time last year and now I get my chance to pull on the England shirt again. I loved representing the Lionesses during my career and I’m really looking forward to doing it again at Old Trafford. It’s fantastic that we’re able to get the game back on and help Unicef stop coronavirus making life even tougher forvulnerable children and families around the world. I’d urge people to watch the show because together we’re playing for generation covid and raising vital funds in the process.”