Football legends and celebrities to compete in Soccer Aid 2008
News item 23 July 2008
Soccer Aid, which is raising funds for UNICEF’s health, education and protection work with vulnerable children all over the world returns to ITV1 on 7 September 2008.
World Cup legends and top celebrities will go head-to-head in an England versus The Rest of The World football match. With Ant and Dec hosting, this year’s event takes place live on the hallowed turf of Wembley Stadium where the crowd will be treated to a unique opportunity to see football legends take to the pitch alongside their celebrity counterparts.
Portsmouth boss Harry Redknapp is stepping up to manage England and his squad includes football legends Jamie Redknapp and Alan Shearer, as well as celebrities Kyran Bracken, Ben Shephard, Gareth Gates, Jamie Theakston and Jonathan Wilkes. Meanwhile, legendary Scot Kenny Dalglish will take charge of the Rest of the World. Players hoping to make it into his starting line up include Westlife’s Nicky Byrne, Alastair Campbell, Patrick Kielty, Brian Lara, Jesse Metcalfe and Peter Schmeichel.
A new skipper for team England
Gordon Ramsay returns to captain Rest of the World, but team England have a new skipper. Robbie Williams is passing on his captain’s armband, and the responsibility of deciding who will take his place is in the capable hands of manager Harry Redknapp.
As the originator of the Soccer Aid concept, Robbie is confident that again the match will be of huge benefit to UNICEF’s work around the world.
Robbie Williams says: "Being able to help so many people through Soccer Aid was one of the true highlights of my life. I’m gutted that this time round my knee isn’t up to it so unfortunately I’m out of the game. But I hope that everyone involved has the time of their life like I did, raises loads of money for UNICEF and that the best side wins.”
Tim Lovejoy and Louise Redknapp will bring all the action from the sidelines while pundits and special studio guests will deliver their live analysis of the beautiful game.
Each squad comprises eleven celebrities and five world cup greats. With less than a week for the players to train and bond before the big game, the pressure is on to get match fit and performance ready.
Soccer Aid 2006
The brainchild of UNICEF ambassador Robbie Williams and Jonathan Wilkes, Soccer Aid which was last held at Old Trafford in 2006, attracted a host of world class players and celebrities including Diego Maradona, David Ginola, Angus Deayton, Patrick Kielty, Gianfranco Zola, Alastair Campbell, Paul Gascoigne and Jamie Redknapp. The all star match raised an impressive £2.6 million for UNICEF’s work with partners for children around the world.
Last time round, England reigned victorious at Old Trafford. But on new turf with new teams, at the new Wembley Stadium, it’s a clean slate. With all players determined to score that winning goal and lift the prestigious Soccer Aid 2008 trophy, it’s anyone’s game.
Get involved with Soccer Aid 2008
Organise your own football fundraising event in aid of UNICEF with friends, family, colleagues or sports team mates. Not only will you have a great time, get fit and raise vital funds for UNICEF’s work for the world’s children, if you register your event with us you could win tickets to Soccer Aid 2008 at Wembley Stadium.
Find out more about organising a football fundraiser, registering your event and our downloadable fundraising pack.
Alternatively, take part in “Soccer Aid Fives” at your local Goals Soccer Centre. Goals, the UK's premier 5-a-side centres, will be hosting Soccer Aid Fives 2008 on their purpose-built, all-weather pitches. This national 5-a-side football championship will be taking place at Goals Soccer Centres across the UK to raise awareness and funds for UNICEF, and give competitors the chance to join the stars of Soccer Aid 2008 in a pre-match soccer skills session at Wembley Stadium. The winners will also receive their Soccer Aid Fives Championship trophy in front of a packed stadium on Soccer Aid match day.
Every Goals Soccer Centre across the country will hold a regional qualifying heat on either Saturday 30 August or Sunday 31 August. The winners of the heats will progress on to national finals at Goals Hayes – a few minutes from Wembley Stadium – where they will compete for the chance to take part in the soccer skills session. Every team that makes the National Final will receive free tickets to the Soccer Aid match on Sunday 7 September at Wembley Stadium.
There will also be lots of other fundraising for you to take part in at Goals Soccer Centres throughout the week leading up to Soccer Aid, so there has never been a better time to get down to your local Goals Centre.
Find out more
Visit www.unicef.org.uk/socceraid for more information about Soccer Aid 2008
Buy tickets at www.itv.com/socceraid
Organise a football fundraiser