Being at the Fifa Women’s World Cup in France as a BBC TV pundit this year was amazing and very different to when I was a player. My job was mostly to provide game analysis at the matches in the tournament where the major teams were playing, especially England and the title holders, the US.
There’s a perfect storm this summer – and it’s taking place on our televisions. The rise of women in sport has been gathering pace for years. Now – thanks to commercial pressure, the push for equality and some incredible momentum provided by the sportswomen themselves – they find themselves in their strongest-ever position..
Taking place at Chelsea FC’s Stamford Bridge in London, all money raised will go towards Unicef’s work in providing care and protection for children around the world.
The match will see ex-football legends and celebrities such as Jamie Redknapp, Mark Wright and Ben Shepherd playing for the England team, and going head to head with the Soccer Aid World XI team.
Produced by Initial, part of Endemol Shine UK, the match will be broadcast live on ITV on June 16th and hosted by Dermot O’Leary.
Led by Harry Redknapp, a renowned manager who has led the likes of Tottenham Hotspur and Queens Park Rangers to victory, the team consists of a who’s who of 1980s and 1990s footballing heroes. All a little over the hill, the goal is to get back in shape and on the pitch once more.
The team of eleven includes: John Barnes, David Seaman, Robbie Fowler, Mark Wright, Matthew Le Tissier, Chris Waddle, Rob Lee, Ray Parlour, Lee Sharpe,Mark Chamberlain, Paul Merson, and Razor Ruddock. They’ll be trying to prove that it’s never too late to get fit.
It was late March when BBC Newsgathering offered me a lifetime opportunity – to report from Russia during the World Cup. My response? Heck, yes! It was a no-brainer.
Only hours after the initial buzz faded and I had spoken with mates did concerns arise.
Would I experience racial abuse in Russia? Would I be able to hack the cultural and language barriers while consistently providing quality reports? I knew without a doubt that this would be a step up from the domestic reporting that I was used to.
Famous faces that have previously graced the Soccer Aid pitch have included: Will Ferrell, Mike Myers, Woody Harrelson, Gerard Butler, Edward Norton and James Corden.
Homeland and Billions actor Damien Lewis, who has proved quite popular with fans due to his ability as a pacey winger has and continues to be a permanent fixture on the England team. This year, he is joined on the by four-time Olympic champion Sir Mo Farah, as well as Soccer Aid regular, musician Olly Murs.
In May 2015, Rio Ferdinand’s wife Rebecca lost her life to breast cancer, leaving behind her husband and three children. The documentary that followed captures the footballer’s own grief and worries for his children as he speaks, frankly and movingly, on camera. He meets other families coping with bereavement and loss, and looks at what help is available for parents and children who have lost a loved one.
The History of Football will be broadcast on May 28 to June 10 and will capture the anticipation of the World Cup in the build up to this year’s event in Russia.
The series will include a slate of original, globally-focused premium documentary series, and short form specials.
The Martin Lewis Money Show Live
Mike Darcey assesses how vulnerable Sky is to a bid for Premier League rights from one of the tech giants