Soccer Aid for UNICEF 2023

Soccer Aid for UNICEF 2023

Transmission (TX):
TX confirmed:
6:30pm ~ 10:00pm

Week 24 2023 : Sat 10 Jun - Fri 16 Jun

Wed 31 May 2023

Soccer Aid for UNICEF 2023

The information contained herein is embargoed from all Press, online, social media, non-commercial publication or syndication - in the public domain - until Tuesday 6 June 2023

Live from Old Trafford, Dermot O’Leary and Alex Scott host the pre-match build up and all the action from the biggest celebrity football match of the year - Soccer Aid for UNICEF 2023.

An England team of celebrities and footballing legends including Stormzy, Tom Hiddleston, Danny Dyer and Jill Scott go head-to-head with the Soccer Aid World XIi featuring Usain Bolt, Lee Mack and Patrice Evra in aid of leading children’s charity UNICEF. Featuring a special half time performance from Tom Grenann.

Soccer Aid for UNICEF kicks off with a week of programming and a brand new special, Soccer Aid: Extra Time.

ITV confirms a week of special Soccer Aid programmes on ITV1 and ITVX in the run up to the match:

Tenable, Wednesday 7th June, 3pm
Tipping Point, Thursday 8th June, 4pm
The Chase, Friday 9th June, 5pm
James Martin's Saturday Morning, Saturday 10th June, 9.25am
On Yer Bike (repeat) Saturday 10th June, 10.20pm
Catchphrase, Saturday 10th June, 6.30pm
Then the big match itself, Soccer Aid for UNICEF, Sunday 11th June, 6.30pm on ITV1 and ITVX

Plus, for the first time ever, a brand new after show party, Soccer Aid: Extra Time, will air live on ITV4 and ITVX.

After the final whistle has blown, the trophy held aloft and the donation total announced, switch over to Extra Time get all the inside scoops, reactions and gossip with the star-studded Soccer Aid line up. Hosted by Jermaine Jenas and Joelah Noble, the one-hour special will bring you all the drama, fallout, and celebrations live from Old Trafford.




You're returning to host Soccer Aid for UNICEF, what makes the show so special?

DOL: It's a great show. The centre piece is always incredible skill, great stories and great heart. It's like watching more than a football match in many ways - Lee Mack has proved that in the last few years. Everyone that comes to watch the match has a great time, the atmosphere in the stadium is incredible. But it's so much more than just 90 minutes of football. At its heart is a charity that we champion. We want people to watch it and have a good time and there's almost like a payoff for that where we ask people to put their hand in their pockets if they can, so that we can raise a lot of money for this incredible charity. 

You’ve been lucky enough to see where the money goes – does this change your experience of the show?

DOL: That's a good point as I think it makes it more rounded. You can't help having an attachment when you play the cause films and you see people doing incredible work. It's a cliche to say, but when you see hands-on where the money goes, there is a penny drop moment when you realise the money raised by Soccer Aid is really changing lives. Education means everything. Even though these children are displaced, if you can get them some kind of normality - both through being children and being able to play but also the more serious side of getting them an education. They then have half a decent chance. Going to a refugee camp can be a one-way ticket. Basic education is the difference between not being able to work and to work in many cases. So what you see when you are there, on the ground, definitely empowers you to do more for sure. 

We're back in Manchester this year, what makes Old Trafford stadium special?

DOL: I say this through gritted teeth [as an Arsenal fan], Manchester United are one of our biggest clubs and I love stadiums that have a bit of history and Old Trafford has that. And it has a sense of history for Soccer Aid for UNICEF now too as we have played the match there many times. But I do also love it when we move around, I love going to different stadiums and visiting different towns. I'd love to take Soccer Aid on the road a little more. Home and away matches would be brilliant. 

Would you ever lace up your football boots and take a place on the pitch?

DOL: It's interesting, circa 2010, maybe. But now the standard is getting really good. We used to say in the second half of the match, it's celebrity goalies so just take a shot from 30 yards - it might go in. Whereas now, the celebrity goalies are actually pretty good. So I'm not sure if I'd play, part of me would love too. Then again, when I'm on the pitch and you see how far the corner flag is to the goal I think, I'm not sure I can actually kick it that far! It's a really long way. Some of the celebrity players now are really super good. 

Who from this year's line up are you excited to see involved in the match?

DOL: Stormzy as manager is just an absolute dream. Jill Scott I'm really excited about, I'm really happy she is captain. Francesco Totti and Gabriel Batistuta as ex-pros, I think that's really exciting. And Sam Claflin, I thought he had a really great cameo when he came on a couple of years ago.

Which player would you love to see take part that hasn't already?

DOL: I interviewed Phil Dunster from Ted Lasso recently and I'd love to get him involved. Erin Doherty who plays Princess Anne in The Crown, she had a sliding doors moment when she was 15 years old when I think Chelsea wanted to sign her. She also got an acting role at the same sort of time so she had to make the choice between the two. She went with acting but she's obviously got some skills. And of course, I'd love to see Theiry Henry play.

What one song would you play to motivate your team if you were a manager?

DOL: It would probably be something quite upbeat so maybe the Foo Fighters or The Killers. I'll pick The Killers 'All These Things That I Have Done' - you know the one, 'I've got soul but I'm not a soldier'. And Big For Your Boots by Stormzy. 



You're returning to Soccer Aid for UNICEF this year, what makes the show so special?

AS: The fact that so many people come together and have a good time. But on the day, we all know what it goes towards and I’ve seen it first-hand.  It’s incredible to be part of something that will help vulnerable kids all over the world.

Will you be reflecting on your time with UNICEF last year when presenting this year’s show?

AS: I always reflect on my time with UNICEF, not just when I'm doing a show. My trip to Namibia was something special and everyone that I met there and what I saw, was so humbling and so fulfilling. When we get to present the show again this year, it's like a big celebration to know that all the money raised goes to help so many people and that's the special part about it.

Would you ever consider lacing up your boots again and playing for the Soccer Aid England team?

AS: I will only lace up my boots if Maya Jama is lacing up her boots and we can see her on the Soccer Aid pitch! This is the agreement that we both made, I think, at last year's game. We shook hands on it and I said I will play if she does. Even if it's putting her through her paces on a training field, that will help raise money for Soccer Aid. I think that’s the way it needs to be done but I'm someone that never says never. I'm just so happy that we get a lot of Lionesses every year. We're getting more and more females involved and Jill Scott is going to smash it as England captain this year.

If you could sign up one player (celebrity or ex-professional) to play, who would it be and why?

AS: Anyone at the moment from Ted Lasso, I think there could be something in that…come to think of it, can we get Hannah Waddingham involved? What a woman!

What's your favourite memory from Soccer Aid for UNICEF so far?

AS: Honestly, there’ve been so many. I remember a really touching moment when David Harewood did a speech on the day, the lights went down in the stadium and all the fans shone their phone torches, it was a real goosebump moment. On the complete other side of the spectrum, it was hilarious when we did The Masked Winger and it turned out to be Stephen Mulhern!

Who do you think is the strongest celebrity you've seen take part in Soccer Aid for UNICEF?

AS: Strongest celebrity has to be between Tom Grennan or Noah Beck these two can seriously play. The ex professional male players always take it so seriously and it’s amazing to watch. I’ve got to send out love to Chunkz…every year the guy just gets better and better. He gets my most improved player award if that’s allowed.



You're returning to Soccer Aid for UNICEF this year, what makes the show so special?

LP: It was a great atmosphere last time and the training has got me back in the gym, which is great! Watching the pros play is amazing. It’s about the football and about the fun of the day. It’s a privilege to be a part of and to help out where I can.

What does it mean to you to be supporting UNICEF and children around the world?

LP: It definitely changes things being a parent, everything gets put into perspective. It’s heartbreaking how many children there are all over the world living in poverty. Soccer Aid is of course great fun and a good day out, but the most important thing we’re doing is raising vital funds for the children who need it most.

What's your favourite memory from Soccer Aid for UNICEF so far?

LP: There is one moment – I’m not a footballer but the whole game of Soccer Aid is get the ball as quickly as you can give it to a pro, that’s all I aim for. Mark Wright is an amazing footballer, he passed the ball to me and in my panic I passed it to a pro which made me look like an absolute don; we should have scored it…it was a fun little moment! Training week is great - everyone’s from different walks of life and it’s a fun experience for sure. You get to see a different side to everybody that you are so used to watching on screen. It’s a really special event and a lot of fun to be involved in. The biggest pay off is getting to make a difference in the world.

Who do you think is the strongest celebrity you've seen take part in Soccer Aid for UNICEF?

LP: I love Tom Grennan; he’s a real laugh and very, very good. Robbie Williams is great! I’m a massive Robbie fan and Angels was the first song I sang as a kid, he’s literally like Uncle Rob now!

Who from your team are you most looking forward to seeing play?

LP: Chunkz is great and Tom Grennan is unbelievable. Steven Bartlett is a very good player. I like playing against Usain; he’s so relaxed and amazing. Scholes is going to be so interesting to watch. I’m interested to see what Tommy Fury does, I really like him and he’s in great shape! Sir Mo Farah is such a lovely fella.

Who from your team would you have in charge of the music before the game and do you have any particular songs that would get you ready for the match?

LP: I really like Angel by Massive Attack; its in Brad Pitt’s film Snatch. That song for me is a big one! I’d pick that. I would let Bugzy be in charge of the music, he’s a cool guy.



You're taking part in Soccer Aid for UNICEF for the first time, what made you say yes?

SD: Well, it’s UNICEF so when an organisation like that, which does the type of work it does for so many children and families around the world comes knocking, it’s hard to say no. Also, it’s Soccer Aid! My family is football obsessed so the opportunity to represent the 3 Lions at Old Trafford is once in a lifetime for most people. I was only ever going to say yes.

Do you play regularly, what are you looking forward to the most about playing in the match?

SD: No, not anymore. I used to play a bit when I was younger as my two older brothers were professional footballers. I’d always go along and sometimes join in when we were really young. I also played at school. I’m most looking forward to revelling in the positivity of the environment; all of the players and supporters creating such a buzz in the build up and on match day… I can’t wait to be a part of that is something truly special.

Are you excited to run out on the pitch at Old Trafford?

SD: Absolutely! I’ve imagined what it’s like being in the tunnel before a match and walking out to thousands of frenzied fans loads in the past whilst watching, so to get to experience that will be amazing. And it’s something I don’t think my brothers ever did!

Who are you most excited about playing with and against in this year's 2023 match?

SD: Well, I think having Stormzy as our manager is the best recruitment I’ve seen for a long time - maybe Spurs need to get in touch with your recruitment guys! Seriously though, it has to be my fellow camp mate Jill Scott. She’s an inspirational winner, so I’m honoured to be on the pitch with her. For the Soccer Aid World XI team, it has to be the legend himself, Usain Bolt. My heritage is Jamaican and I remember watching him race before and during London 2012. To see this cool, laid back, charismatic guy who made winning look so easy, a superstar who somehow seemed accessible to everyone is super exciting. If I hadn’t have picked up a bit of an injury in training for the match, I think I could have beaten him in a race over 10 yards!

Do you think you’ll be nervous playing in the match?

SD: A bit maybe but I think nerves are good. They mean that what you’re doing really means a great deal to you and you want to do the best job you can. Hopefully I can do that so that England win! I think when you compare playing at Old Trafford with some of the experiences children around the world constantly face, it makes any nerves I might have irrelevant.



You're taking part in Soccer Aid for UNICEF for the first time, in the World XI Coaching team, what made you say yes?

MC: I am a big fan and have wanted to be involved in Soccer Aid for many years but other commitments have never made it possible. I’m so happy to finally be part of this brilliant event and I’m really looking forward to the experience.

Do you play or watch football regularly? What are you looking forward to the most about this match? 

MC: I haven’t played football for many years, but I still enjoy watching the game. I’m looking forward to revisiting Old Trafford, I think the last time I was there David Beckham was still in the squad!

Are you excited to see your team run out on the pitch at Old Trafford? What tactics have you got up your sleeve?

MC: I am honoured to be part of Mauricio Pochettino’s coaching team alongside the brilliant Robbie Keane and Soccer Aid veteran Martin Compston. With their brilliant guidance I’ll be providing support where needed! I’m trying to decide whether my coaching style will be an angry Roy Kent from Ted Lasso or more maternal, maybe somewhere in between!

Who are you most excited about coaching in this year’s 2023 match line-up?

MC: Where do I start?! With an amazing team of athletes, entertainers and legendary international players England better watch out. Being Sporty Spice I’m always a little starstruck with sports people so I’ll be soaking up every second I get to spend with everyone.

Which Spice Girls track would you play to motivate your team in the dressing room before kick off?

MC: ‘Spice Up Your Life’ always gets everybody going, we opened our stadium shows in 2019 with it. It’s an anthem of inclusivity, positivity and joy some of the great thing’s music and football both bring to people.




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