England came from behind with ten men to secure a win against the Rest of the World at a charity match hosted at Old Trafford last night.
Every two years two teams of celebrities and footballing legends play 90 minutes of football in front of a packed out stadium to raise money for Unicef’s work saving children’s lives.
This year sporting stars teamed up with famous faces of music, television and film in this anticipated match in Manchester.
Among the celebrities on the England team, managed by Jose Mourhino and Sam Allardyce, with help from Robbie Williams, and coached by Bradley Walsh, were One Direction’s Louis Tomlinson, popstar Olly Murs and actor Damian Lewis.
They were joined by comedians Jack Whitehall and John Bishop, McFly’s Danny Jones, TV personality and Heart FM radio host Mark Wright, pop star and presenter Marvin Humes, television presenters Paddy McGuinness, Jonathan Wilkes and Ben Shephard, and TV Presenter and Heart FM DJ Jamie Theakston who played in goal.
Footballers Robbie Fowler, Jamie Carragher, Phil Neville, Sol Campbell, David Seaman, Jermain Defoe, Danny Murphy and Kieron Dyer made up the professional half of the team.
The Rest of the World team was just as star-studded, managed by Claudio Ranieri and One Direction’s Niall Horan, and captained by actor Michael Sheen, the team included popstar and presenter Nicky Byrne and Kasabian guitarist Sergio Pizzorno.
They were joined by actors Matthew Morrison, Iwan Rheon and Shayne Ward, presenters Rickie Haywood-Williams and Sean Fletcher, legendary jockey Sir AP McCoy, former rugby stars Thom Evans and Gareth Thomas and returning goalkeeper Patrick Kielty.
The international legends for the Rest of the World were Ronaldinho, Cafu, Jaap Stam, Dimitar Berbatov, Edgar Davids, Samuel Eto’o, Fabio Cannavaro and Dida.
The first half got off to a good start and the atmosphere was electric with the crowd cheering for both teams. England seemed slightly on top, and Olly Murs looked particularly dangerous down the left side, but at half time the score remained 0-0.
The second half saw the turn of the celebrity goal keepers Patrick Kielty and Jamie Theakston, and not long after the restart, former TOWIE star Mark Wright smashed home a free kick from 25 yards out, rousing the crowd once more as a roar went up around the stadium.
However, shortly after, TV presenter Ben Shepherd, who’d already been given a yellow card for a crunching tackle on Edgar Davids in the first half, was given a second yellow after a late challenge on Dimitar Berbatov, and was sent down the tunnel leaving the England side with only ten men.
The Rest of the World took advantage of their extra player and in minutes were back on level terms after Berbatov sent a soaring strike into the back of the net.
The ex-Manchester United player put the Rest of the World in front just before the hour mark, making it 2-1 with a penalty after Paddy McGuiness bowled over international legend Ronaldhino.
England didn’t have to wait long to be back on level terms though. Ex-Tottenham player Jermain Defoe showed off his speed and agility, skipping past the Rest of the World defence before deftly slotting home an equaliser.
England put in an extra spurt of energy after their second goal and good link up play between Kieron Dyer and Jermain Defoe ended with a second goal for Defoe 14 minutes before the final whistle – making the final score 3 -2 to England.
Unicef UK ambassadors, Robbie Williams and Jonathan Wilkes, created the charity event, Soccer Aid, ten years ago raising a combined total of over £20 million the charity.
You can donate to Soccer Aid and keep up with all the latest news through the website.
If Soccer Aid has inspired you to get involved with football, check out Active Lincolnshire’s Activity Finder to find a club near you.