Soccer Aid, a charity football match which benefits Unicef, has become one of the most talked about charity events not only in the UK – but around the world since its start in 2006. The football match takes place every two years and since it’s beginning has raised £17 million which has gone towards Unicef’s work for children.
From names like David Gray and Tom Felton to Olly Murs and Jack Whitehall Soccer Aid has brought many big name celebrities to play for their charity match. The teams are England vs Rest of The World and as of the 2014 match, England had won 3 times and ROW had 2 wins to their name. In addition to stars in both music and television/film, football legends join the match too which raises not only the stakes but the entertainment.
In 2016, Louis Tomlinson and Niall Horan have joined the lineup, sparking a lot of talk on social media about the match and some excitement through pop culture as the two bandmates are on opposing teams. At first, Niall was set to act only as an assistant coach but it was announced on June 2nd that he would take the field for an amount of time – he has a knee injury that prevents him from playing too long. This development only added to the excitement of fans who were tuning in not only on Sunday, but on social media all week to keep up with the banter between not just Louis and Niall, but both teams in their entirety.
While the lineup, the banter, and the fun are definitely worth focusing on, what’s even more incredible is the way Soccer Aid went from an idea to a staple to charity and the way a fun football match helps to save lives of children.
Robbie Williams and Jonathan Wilkes were sitting at a bar, the two have been pals since they were young, and after some conversation and an idea written on a napkin, Soccer Aid was pitched to ITV and the rest is history. Both gentlemen have taken trips with Unicef and even to Haiti after the earthquake to see first hand what help the world needs and to strive that much harder to make Soccer Aid successful. It’s inspiring that the two were able to use their desire to help make the world a safer and more opportune place for all of us and turn it into something so much bigger than themselves.
Unicef is working day and night to help children who are struggling in danger all across the world, and they can’t continue to save lives without donations, word of mouth, and support from all of us. Once you look into the work they do, their success stories, and even the stories that make you tear up – you are immediately drawn in and you feel compelled to help, that’s what happened to Robbie and Jonathan and that’s the kind of spirit that drives Soccer Aid.
While the big name celebrities we look up to in music and television definitely play the match for the fun and enjoy the company, laughs, and sport during training week and on the big day – they also know that they’re actually saving lives when they’re out on that field and that definitely humbles them.
If you, like us, can’t make it to Old Trafford for this year’s match, you can still donate to Unicef and help make a difference, and if you’re anything like us, you’ve already started saving up for 2018’s match!
A million thanks to Robbie and Jonathan, and all the names involved in Soccer Aid every year but especially this year – we can’t wait to see how many more lives are improved because of your kindness.