Comedian Paddy McGuinness talks Soccer Aid's return to Old Trafford

  • Video report by Granada Reports sports correspondent Chris Hall

When you ask Paddy McGuinness for a celebrity anecdote, he has no problem keeping it clean.

"In the shower, Roy Keane loves a Foam Burst. He gets absolutely covered in the stuff," says the proud Boltonian, as the star of Top Gear recalls being starstruck himself.

"Years ago I was staying in this hotel and I opened the lift door and it was just Roy Keane stood there on his own.

"I was like "God, it's Roy Keane. What do I do?" And we just stood there, dead silent. And then he left. But I ended up having a shower with him the day after. So we bonded."

The shower came after the pair played on opposing teams in one of the many Soccer Aid matches Paddy has played in, dating right back to the first one in 2006.

This year, he makes his goalkeeping debut for England against a World XI, featuring the likes of athlete Usain Bolt, Love Island's Kem Cetinay and Southport comedian Lee Mack.

"I'm 49 now," says Paddy. "When I first started, I used to play 90 minutes. Then the next time I did 70 minutes, then 45. And I've gradually done less and less and less.

"So, when you're just over 49, it's like 'stick him in the net because he's knackered.' So that's what I'm doing. I'm going in the nets.

"As a football fan, it's been amazing to be on the pitch with the likes of Zidane and Ronaldinho.

"And, as well as that, I've played with A-listers like Will Ferrell, Mike Myers and all these different people who come together for UNICEF.

"It's such a great charity and means a lot to any parent. So if you can help out and raise a few quid, it's great to be part of."

"That's Ronaldinho, and I host a dating show", says McGuinness Credit: PA Images

It's the first time Old Trafford has staged a Soccer Aid game, with fans, since England last lifted the trophy in 2018.

So this 'friendly' will be fiercely contested by the ex-professional footballers in Paddy's team, which includes former Arsenal star Jack Wilshere, ex-Manchester United hero Paul Scholes and, for the first time, will be captained by a Lioness, in former Manchester City midfielder, and "I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here" winner, Jill Scott.

"Sometimes the ex-pros do take it very seriously and the tackles fly in thick and fast," reveals Paddy.

"I've been at right back, at the side of Jamie Carragher, a few times and it's terrifying.

"He's so lovely when he's on the telly but when you are playing with him he's so aggressive.

One year he was screaming at me "Get into him! Come on, get into him!" And it was Ronaldinho he wanted me to do that to. I said "Jamie. It's Ronaldinho. I host a dating show.

"You know what's weird as a football fan? We've all been on the terraces and we've all shouted stuff at players. Good and bad. But what I didn't realise was that, when you're on that pitch and there are 70,000 fans in Old Trafford, you can hear everything.

"Because there are more families and there are more kids and they're always cheering. It really makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up."

Paddy McGuinness has been a long standing figure in Soccer Aid. Credit: PA Images

Since Paddy's first game 17 years ago, Soccer Aid has raised more than £75million for children's charity, UNICEF.

This year the money raised will help fight malnutrition, keep children safe in times of crisis, and get them back to school. It could also help provide vaccines against preventable diseases like polio.

Tickets for the game are on sale now.

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