As the World Cup looms ever closer and hopes start mounting that this may just be England’s year, it’s almost time for Soccer Aid, another star-studded sports match where all proceeds will go to charity.
Soccer Aid, which has attracted support from sporting and acting royalty, will raise money for UNICEF, who have carried out emergency and development work in the UK and abroad since 1946. In 2012 the players raised a total of almost £5 million but with the help of ticket sales and merchandise, this year's squad will be hoping to top that.
Stars confirmed for the biannual event, now in its fifth year, include... Hollywood heavyweights James McAvoy and Jeremy Renner, singer Olly Murs, Welsh actor Michael Sheen, Mamma Mia star Dominic Cooper and comedian Jack Whitehall, who will be making his debut for the squad. Robbie Williams – who co-created Soccer Aid back in 2006 – will also be hoping to lead the team to glory in his new role as England’s assistant manager.
The English celebrities will be in the capable hands of West Ham United manager Sam Allardyce with coaches Peter Reid and Bradley Walsh on board to provide additional support, along with retired professional footballers Jamie Redknapp, Paul Ince and Teddy Sheringham.
England’s players will take on the Rest of the World team in the hope of defending their title as Soccer Aid champions. But standing in their way is an international line-up that includes chef Gordon Ramsay, comedian Patrick Kielty and Hollywood actor Jeremy Renner. Actor Michael Sheen will return to captain the squad, and Chelsea manager José Mourinho has agreed to oversee proceedings.
The match will be held at Old Trafford on 8 June and broadcast live from 6pm on ITV channels, with a preview programme on 6 June (9pm, ITV) featuring behind-the-scenes footage of match preparation. Check out the full teams below...
Manager: Sam Allardyce
Coaches: Peter Reid and Bradley Walsh
Robbie Williams (captain and assistant manager; created Soccer Aid in 2006)
Dominic Cooper (Mamma Mia and The History Boys actor; Soccer Aid midfielder in 2010)
Jonathan Wilkes (TV presenter and Soccer Aid co-creator; midfielder and defender in 2006, 2008, 2010 & 2012)
Ben Shephard (Good Morning Britain presenter; defender in 2006, 2008, 2010 & 2012)
Jamie Theakston (TV and radio presenter, goalkeeper in 2006, 2008, 2010 & 2012)
Marvin Humes (former JLS singer and The Voice UK presenter; midfielder in 2012)
Olly Murs (singer and 2009 X Factor runner-up; midfielder in 2010 & 2012)
Danny Jones (member of McFly; midfielder in 2008)
John Bishop (comedian and A League of Our Own panellist; midfielder in 2012)
Paddy McGuinness (host of Take Me Out; defender in 2010 & 2012)
Mark Owen (Take That singer; midfielder in 2012)
Jack Whitehall (star of Bad Education and Fresh Meat; first Soccer Aid appearance)
Stephen Moyer (star of US series True Blood; first Soccer Aid appearance)
Jamie Redknapp (retired Tottenham and Liverpool footballer; midfielder in 2006, 2008 & 2010)
Jamie Carragher (retired Liverpool footballer; first Soccer Aid appearance)
David Seaman (retired England and Arsenal goalkeeper; goalkeeper in 2006, 2008, 2010 & 2012)
Teddy Sheringham (retired Tottenham Hotspur, Manchester Utd and England striker; forward in 2008, 2010 & 2012)
Des Walker (retired Nottingham Forest, Sheffield Wednesday and England footballer; defender in 2008 & 2012)
Matt Le Tissier (retired Southampton and England midfielder; first Soccer Aid appearance
Rest of the World
Manager: Jose Mourinho
Michael Sheen (captain and star of The Queen and Frost/Nixon; Welsh; captain in 2010 & 2012)
Gordon Ramsay (TV chef; Scottish; captain in 2006, defender in 2008, 2010 & 2012)
Nicky Byrne (ex-Westlife singer; Irish; midfielder in 2008 & 2010)
Patrick Kielty (TV and radio presenter; Northern Irish; goalkeeper in 2006, 2008, 2010 & 2012)
James McAvoy (star of X-Men and Last King of Scotland; Scottish; defender in 2012)
Sam Worthington (Avatar actor; Australian; first Soccer Aid appearance)
Jeremy Renner (star of The Hurt Locker and The Town; American; first Soccer Aid appearance)
Martin Compston (Line of Duty actor; Scottish; first Soccer Aid appearance)
Kevin Bridges (comedian; Scottish; first Soccer Aid appearance)
Santiago Cabrera (star of BBC’s The Musketeers; Chilean; first Soccer Aid appearance)
Mark Salling (singer and star of Glee; American; first Soccer Aid appearance)
Adam Richman (host of Man vs Food; American; first Soccer Aid appearance)
Edgar Davids (former Ajax, Juventus and Holland footballer; Dutch; first Soccer Aid appearance)
Andriy Shevchenko (retired Dynamo Kyiv, Chelsea and Ukraine striker; Ukrainian; first Soccer Aid appearance)
Edwin van der Sar (retired Ajax, Manchester United and Holland goalkeeper; Dutch; goalkeeper in 2012)
Jaap Stam (retired Manchester United and PSV centre back; Dutch; defender in 2008 & 2012)
Alessandro Del Piero (former Juventus and Italy forward; Italian; first Soccer Aid appearance)
Clarence Seedorf (retired Real Madrid and Holland footballer and current A.C. Milan manager; Dutch; midfielder in 2012)
Tickets cost £20 for adults and £5 for under-16s, and can be bought online at manutd.com/socceraid or via 0845 456 2014.