Soccer Aid for Unicef has added the first set of names to the team sheets of England and Soccer Aid World XI for their clash at Old Trafford.
To help stop the spread of coronavirus and limit the impact on children’s lives, a mixture of celebrities and former professionals will ‘Play for Generation Covid’, raising money through donations that will be matched and thus tripled by the UK Government and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.
Here are the confirmed starters.
Soccer Aid World XI FC
Comedian, presenter and Iceland delivery driver, Jason Manford, will make his debut for the XI.
He captained a team on Channel 4 panel show 8 out of 10 cats, but helping lead a team to victory at Old Trafford will be slightly more demanding.
Another debut but a homecoming of sorts, Patrice Evra will be extremely comfortable treading the Old Trafford turf as he loyally served Manchester United as player and captain under Sir Alex Ferguson’s reign.
Evra added: “I can’t wait to get back to Old Trafford, my home-from-home! It will be a strange experience to play at that amazing stadium without the fans, but I am really proud to be involved and that we’re able to still put on a show for the millions of people who will be watching at home.”
— Patrice Evra (@Evra) August 11, 2020
British rapper, singer and songwriter Dave won the Mercury Prize and 2020 Brit Award for Album of the Year for his debut album, Psychodrama. He also made his acting debut in the third series of Top Boy in 2019.
As a staunch Manchester United fan, Dave has a trademark for referencing his favourite players, but we’re yet to see if he can play like them.
Returning to the World XI is ex-Manchester City midfielder and one half of the catchiest chant ever chanted, Yaya Touré.
He’s one of the greatest African players of all time, winning the continent’s Footballer of the Year award four times in a row between 2011-2014, and he’s caused many an upset before at Old Trafford.
Every £1 you donate becomes £3 thanks to @DFID_UK and @gavi so let's have some fun and raise lots of money to fight the impact of coronavirus on children https://t.co/PRUcRHvvel pic.twitter.com/qEj33DPXAc
— Yaya Touré (@YayaToure) August 11, 2020
Kem Cetinay won the 2017 edition of Love Island with Amber Davies. He has starred and guest-starred in several spin-offs since and co-presents the series' official podcast Love Island: The Morning After.
He returns to the World XI having scored a triumphant goal in his last outing at Stamford Bridge, taking the game to a penalty shoot-out, which the XI went on to win.
What.A.Goal@KemCetinay steps inside Terry, YES Terry, and curls the ball into the far corner
England 2-2 Soccer Aid World XI
— ITV Football (@itvfootball) June 16, 2019
Kelly Smith MBE
Ex-Arsenal Ladies forward Kelly Smith was capped over 100 times for England and remains their record goalscorer. She also represented Great Britain at the London 2012 Summer Olympics.
Smith said: “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.”
Every £1 you donate becomes £3 thanks to @DFID_UK and @gavi so let's help the limit of coronavirus on children's lives https://t.co/1w2Ud8ffCW#SoccerAid #UNICEF #SaveLives #England pic.twitter.com/jvsP5Z8Qid
— Kelly Smith MBE (@kelly_smith10) August 11, 2020
Singer-songwriter and presenter Olly Murs first rose to fame in the sixth series of The X Factor in 2009, coming second and going on to sell millions of records worldwide.
Knee surgery kept Murs out the team for the 2019 edition, but he has made four appearances for the Three Lions over the years.
Celebrity fitness instructor Joe Wicks, ‘The Body Coach’, also returns having recently raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for the NHS through his YouTube exercise series, P.E with Joe, which helped keep children fit during lockdown.
David James MBE
Former Premier League goalkeeping stalwart and England No.1, David James, played for some of the country's biggest clubs including Liverpool and Manchester City. He is now a regular pundit on BT Sport.
Fourth on the list of all-time Premier League appearances and second in clean sheets, David James will hope to add yet another to his record.
England have got a new pair of safe hands
— David James (@jamosfoundation) August 11, 2020
Dermot O’Leary will host the proceedings with Kirsty Gallacher returning as pitch side reporter.
Soccer Aid for Unicef will air on ITV and STV in September 2020.