ITV have announced the date, venue and announced the players for this year's Soccer Aid, which returns on Sunday 12th June.
It will also be a coming home party for London 2012 sprint king Usain Bolt. The world’s fastest man returns to the London Stadium exactly 10 years on from his gold medal heroics. A family of four can attend the game for just £60, which takes place on Sunday 12th June at the London Stadium, Stratford – the first time Soccer Aid for UNICEF has ever been played there.
A number of Soccer Aid for UNICEF debutants were announced today. Former One Direction signer Liam Payne will captain the England team. He will be joined by Emily in Paris star Lucien Laviscount and comedian Alex Brooker – who will become the first-ever physically disabled participant in the game. Legendary Arsenal Manager Arsène Wenger will again take to a dugout in London, as he takes charge of the Soccer Aid World XI FC.
Usain Bolt will captain the Soccer Aid World XI FC, with the Jamaican returning to London ten years on from his gold medal wins at London 2012. However, the world’s fastest man won’t have Harry Redknapp’s tactical guidance this year.
Many more famous faces are set to be announced in the coming weeks but those announced today are – for England, in full: Harry Redknapp (Manager), Liam Payne (Captain) Lucien Laviscount, Tom Grennan, Chunkz, Gary Neville, Jamie Carragher, Fara Williams, Joe Cole, Alex Brooker and David Seaman (Goalkeeper Coach).
For the Soccer Aid World XI FC, in full: Arsène Wenger (Manager), Usain Bolt (Captain) Martin Compston, Mo Gilligan, Chelcee Grimes, Patrice Evra and Robbie Keane. The live show on ITV and STV will be hosted by UNICEF UK Ambassador Dermot O’Leary. Alex Scott also returns as pitch-side reporter. Soccer Aid fan favourite Maya Jama makes her return, as she offers her take on the game as a pundit. The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “Ten years on from the Olympic and Paralympic Games, the eyes of the world will once again be on the London Stadium as England look to pick up a long overdue victory over the Soccer Aid World XI FC. The generosity of the British public combined with our love of football has made Soccer Aid for UNICEF a highlight of the sporting calendar and it’s brilliant to see this fantastic event return to the capital.”
UNICEF UK Ambassador Robbie Williams said: “On Sunday 12th June, I will sing Angels in front of 60,000 people at the London Stadium. I already know that it is going to be one of the most special nights of my career – and I want as many of you as possible to be part of it. Tickets are selling fast, so I would urge people to snap them up while they are still available. In so doing, people will be supporting Soccer Aid for UNICEF, which has raised £60m since we started it 16-years-ago.” Arsène Wenger said: “I am really looking forward to this special football match in June. It's great and special to play a football match together with former opponents for a good purpose. Football unites, football gives hope and I am looking forward to making my contribution on Sunday 12th June at the London Stadium.”
Harry Redknapp said: “‘Harry Redknapp, England Manager’ – who would ever have thought that, eh? Not that I was keeping score – but they tell me that England haven’t won since 2018. Oh dear. Anyone who knows me will tell you that I would never turn my country down, so when they asked me to be England Manager, I had to say yes. I know Usain is a bit miffed I’m leaving him – but the big man will get over that! I hope to see you all there on Sunday 12th June. Get your tickets now!” There will be a Soccer Aid for UNICEF week across ITV and STV in the lead up to the match. More information on these shows will be announced in due course.