Wayne Rooney's back in an England shirt for Soccer Aid

In an exclusive chat, Wayne Rooney tells Mike Hall why it's good to be back

Wayne Rooney is back - coming out of retirement to play for England again.

The national team's all-time record goal scorer managed the England side in Soccer Aid for UNICEF 2020 but is once again taking to the pitch as a player – this September.

Wayne Rooney showing off the Soccer Aid England kit Credit: ITV

Rooney will be joined by Fara Williams, Micah Richards, Gary Neville and Paul Scholes who were also today announced as taking part in Soccer Aid for UNICEF 2021 – the first time they have been part of the world’s biggest celebrity-charity football match.

Sprint hero Usain Bolt is back by popular demand Credit: Socceraid

Sprint king Usain Bolt is also back for what will be his third appearance in the game.

The England vs. Soccer Aid World XI FC clash is the tenth fixture. This year, for the very first time, the match takes place on a Saturday (4th September) and will be played at Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium – also a first.

Wayne Rooney, who scored 53 goals for England, said:

"Soccer Aid for UNICEF has been a massive force for good since it started back in 2006 and I know the public will support us again this year by purchasing tickets, which are now on sale.”

Dermot O’Leary returns to host the live show on ITV, with England legend Alex Scott charged with getting all the gossip from the touch-line, as she makes her Soccer Aid for UNICEF presenting debut alongside him.

Gary Neville said: “Their work is as important now as it has ever been, so please buy a ticket and come along – it will be great fun.”

Other star names announced today include: James Arthur, Tom Grennan, Olly Murs, Mark Wright, Paddy McGuinness, Ore Oduba, Kem Cetinay, Liv Cooke, Roman Kemp, Chunkz and Maya Jama as a pundit.

Soccer Aid 2020 celebrations - the event's raised £47 million so far for UNICEF Credit: ITV

Since 2006 – when UNICEF UK Ambassador Robbie Williams co-founded the concept – Soccer Aid for UNICEF has raised over £47m to help give children all over the world a childhood full of play.

As many countries celebrate coming out of lockdown, the Covid-19 crisis is still making life for many vulnerable children even tougher. Soccer Aid for UNICEF 2020, at Old Trafford, raised a record breaking £9.3m.

The money raised from this year’s game could help UNICEF deliver 2 billion Covid-19 vaccines to frontline healthcare workers, social workers and teachers around the world.

 Tickets for the game are on sale now via www.socceraid.org.uk/tickets with a family of four able to attend for £60 – two adults and two children.