It’s back! Charity football showdown Soccer Aid is returning to screens for its ninth year. Although delayed by two months due to the coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 all-star contest will be kicking off on Sunday 6th September. And it’s set to feature some major names.
The England and World XI sides will both field a team of celebrities and former top-flight footballing pros.
The likes of singer Olly Murs, fitness coach Joe Wicks and Top Gear’s Paddy McGuinness will play for the home side with World Cup veterans such as Michael Owen and David James.
All this is before we mention the managing trio: Sam Allardyce, Doctor Who actor Bradley Walsh and Manchester United great Wayne Rooney will be leading the English side.
On the other side of the field, the World XI team features players such as Mo Gilligan and Love Island’s Iain Stirling beside former pros like Yaya Toure and Robbie Keane.
Who are the other players viewers can expect to see in action? RadioTimes.com has rounded up the team sheets ahead of the big game.
England XI Soccer Aid squad
England XI manager
Sam Allardyce – Football manager
The former England manager returns to the dugout after taking charge of the England side in last year’s game.
Wayne Rooney – Footballer
Co-manager Rooney is still plying his trade for Derby County in the Championship, but he will be on hand to guide the England team in this one.
Bradley Walsh – Actor/TV presenter
The Chase host may feel a little out of place next to a former England manager and record goalscorer, but he will be on hand to advise – when he can.
England XI celebrities
Olly Murs – Singer
Murs missed out in 2019 following a knee injury and will be desperate to impress on his return to the line-up.
Joe Wicks – Fitness coach/taught your kids PE during lockdown
Wicks bolstered his reputation during lockdown with his popular exercise videos for kids – so he should definitely be in tip-top shape for taking to the Soccer Aid pitch.
Joel Dommett – Comedian/TV presenter
Fresh from presenting The Masked Singer, Dommett will have nothing to hide behind during the match.
Marvin Humes – Singer/TV presenter
The former JLS band member has been part of Soccer Aid on many previous occasions and has returned again for the 2020 fixture.
James Bay – Musician
Bay is best known for Hold Back The River and *that* hat.
Liv Cooke – Football freestyler
Cooke is a professional football freestyler, current four-time world champion and record holder, as well as a presenter for BBC Sport and a UEFA ambassador – all at the age of 21.
Alfie Allen – Actor
Brother of Lily Allen, Alfie is instantly recognisable from his role as Theon Greyjoy in the hit HBO show Game of Thrones.
John Bishop – Comedian
The Liverpudlian comedian’s voice and laugh are instantly recognisable. This is not his first rodeo at Soccer Aid.
Chunkz – Musician/YouTuber
YouTube star Chunkz is involved in his first Soccer Aid showdown this year but how will he fare?
Yung Filly – Presenter/YouTuber
Yung Filly is teamed up with Chunkz, pushing out hours of video content to their masses of followers across all social platforms.
Paddy McGuinness – TV presenter
The Take Me Out host and all-round funny guy McGuinness will be taking this one seriously on Sunday.
Mark Wright – Reality TV star
The former TOWIE star had a semi-professional football career, and has showed his prowess on the Soccer Aid pitch before – bagging a goal from a direct free-kick in the 2016 match.
Danny Jones – McFly singer
Last year, Jones told RadioTimes.com he was the fastest player in a training session that included Usain Bolt.
Lee Mack – Comedian
Mack is a regular on panel shows including Would I Lie To You? but will be excited to prove his footballing prowess on the big stage.
Tom Davis – Actor
Most famous for his role as DI Sleet on Murder in Successville, Davis is making his Soccer Aid debut.
England XI professionals
Kelly Smith – Former Arsenal footballer
Another former Lioness will have a chance to roar at Old Trafford with 46 goals in 117 appearances for England during her career.
David James – Former England goalkeeper
James’ football career took him to three World Cups and saw him rack up the fourth highest total of Premier League starts of all time, but this is his first appearance at Soccer Aid.
Wes Brown – Former Man Utd defender
Brown will be returning to the Old Trafford pitch one again, having played 362 times for Manchester United during his playing days.
Andy Cole – Former Man Utd striker
The former England international scored over 100 goals for Manchester United, and he’ll undoubtedly be desperate to get his name on the scoresheet in his Soccer Aid debut
Ashley Cole – Former Chelsea defender
Once renowned as the best left-back in world football, Cole will be hoping to prove he’s still got it.
Joe Cole – Former Chelsea midfielder
A fan favourite at Stamford Bridge despite injury problems curtailing his world class potential. He rounds off the trio of Coles involved this weekend.
Katie Chapman – Former England footballer
Best known for her spells with Arsenal and Chelsea, Chapman racked up 94 caps for England.
Gareth Barry – Former England midfielder
The former Aston Villa legend made more appearances than any other player in Premier League history with a grand total of 653 throughout his career. He retired last recently.
Emile Heskey – Former England striker
Despite criticism throughout his career, Heskey racked up 633 games throughout his career, including spells with five different Premier League teams.
Michael Owen – Former Liverpool striker
Owen was the main man for England throughout most of the 00s after making his name at Liverpool.
Casey Stoney – Man Utd Women manager
Former Lioness Stoney made 130 appearances for the England team between 2000-2017 and is the current boss of Man Utd Women.
World XI Soccer Aid Squad
World XI manager
Harry Redknapp – Football manager
The former Tottenham boss and King of the Jungle Redknapp returns to guide the World XI.
Bryan Robson – Football manager
The former Middlesbrough manager and Manchester United legend will join Redknapp in the dugout.
Vic Bettinelli – Goalkeeping coach
The current Fulham academy goalkeeping coach will step up to complete the managerial trio.
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World XI celebrities
Kem Cetinay – Love Island star
The reality TV star scored in last year’s game and will hope for similar success this time around.
Chelcee Grimes – Singer/footballer
The Scouse singer is no stranger to the football pitch – she currently plays for Fulham Ladies and has also presented Match of the Day spin-off show, MOTDx on BBC Two.
Jason Manford – Comedian
The comedian is a panel show stalwart and will be making his Soccer Aid debut this year.
Dermot Kennedy – Musician
The Irish singer-songwriter is best known for 2019 hit ‘Outnumbered’ and will slot into the World XI for the game.
DJ Locksmith – Musician
Locksmith is part of British drum and bass band Rudimental and has appeared in several celebrity shows including Celebrity SAS.
Jeremy Lynch – Football freestyler
Lynch is part of the famous F2Freestylers duo who flash their tricks and skills at every opportunity, but can he produce the goods in a game?
Billy Wingrove – Football freestyler
Lynch’s partner in crime Wingrove completes the F2 duo and will hope to work in tandem with his mate in order to lift the trophy.
Ore Oduba – TV/radio presenter
The winner of Strictly Come Dancing in 2016 will be hoping to waltz to the crown with the World XI at Old Trafford.
Mo Gilligan – Comedian
British stand-up comedian Gilligan will hope people aren’t laughing at him on Sunday night – for the first time ever.
Serge Pizzorno – Musician
The popular Kasabian guitarist scored one of the all-time greatest goals in Soccer Aid and will hope for more.
Roman Kemp – Radio DJ
DJ and former I’m a Celebrity participant Kemp will return to the field after making his debut at last year’s event.
Santan Dave – Rapper
Mercury Prize winner Dave is one of the most acclaimed rappers in the country, and will now have the chance to put his football skills to the test.
Iain Stirling – TV presenter
Stirling is most well-known for narrating Love Island – and he’ll be stepping onto the Soccer Aid pitch having taken part in the first eSoccer Aid earlier this year.
World XI professionals
Patrice Evra – Former Man Utd defender
The eccentric former United hero has become an social media sensation since retiring from football. He won five Premier League titles with United.
Yaya Toure – Former Man City midfielder
The Ivory Coast international became a Manchester City legend for his title-winning exploits during his spell at the Ethiad Stadium, and now the central midfielder will return to strut his stuff on the Soccer Aid pitch once again.
Lianne Sanderson – Former England footballer
Sanderson finished her career at Juventus in 2019 following a long spell with Arsenal and numerous stints in the US.
Michael Essien – Former Chelsea midfielder
The Ghanaian star was a big hit in the Premier League thanks to his terrific engine and dynamic style in midfield.
Darren Fletcher – Former Man Utd midfielder
A fan-favourite at Old Trafford, Fletcher was a reliable midfield presence for many years with United.
Julie Fleeting – Former Scotland footballer
Fleeting’s remarkable international career spanned from 1996 to 2015. She scored 116 goals in 121 games during that time.
Shay Given – Former Newcastle goalkeeper
The Republic of Ireland legend made 354 Premier League appearances for Newcastle United over 12 years in the North East.
Robbie Keane – Former Tottenham striker
The journeyman striker scored goals wherever he went and will hope to find the net at Old Trafford once more.
Claude Makelele – Former Chelsea midfielder
The Frenchman’s influence was so great at Chelsea, the ‘Makelele role’ has found its way into football lexicon.
Mikael Silvestre – Former Man Utd defender
An ultimate utility man, dependable in any position across the defence, Silvestre was well used by Ferguson during the glory days.
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