Wayne Rooney returns to the pitch to represent England at Soccer Aid 2021 in September… with Usain Bolt, Gary Neville and Fara Williams also involved in a charity match for Unicef and Micah Richards in the dugout!
- Wayne Rooney was England manager at Soccer Aid last year but will now play
- Gary Neville, Paul Scholes and Fara Williams will also team up with Rooney
- Micah Richards will be in the dugout while Usain Bolt will play for the third time
- Kelly Smith, Roberto Carlos and Ashley Cole will also participate in the Etihad
Wayne Rooney will retire in September to play in Soccer Aid 2021 when England face a World XI at the Etihad Stadium.
Derby boss Rooney, 35, was England manager on last year’s Unicef fundraiser, which won the World XI in a penalty shootout at Old Trafford.
Gary Neville, Paul Scholes and Fara Williams will team up with Rooney, while Micah Richards will join the England coaching team and Usain Bolt will return for his third appearance in the celebrity contest.
Wayne Rooney retires in September to play in 2021 Soccer Aid for England
Rooney was manager of England (R) at last year’s Soccer Aid, which won the World XII
Gary Neville will also participate in Soccer Aid 2021 for England
Rooney, England’s all-time record scorer with 53 goals, said: “Putting on an England shirt is always special, so I’m absolutely delighted to be doing it again in Soccer Aid for Unicef.
“Last year leading the England team was great, but being around the players made me want to put the boots back on – now I have that chance, one last time.”
Harry Redknapp returns as World XI manager and Kelly Smith, Roberto Carlos, Patrice Evra, David James, Ashley Cole, Emile Heskey and Jamie Redknapp are some of the other former players taking part.
The celebrities include James Arthur, Tom Grennan, Olly Murs, Mark Wright, Paddy McGuinness, Ore Oduba, Kem Cetinay, Liv Cooke, Roman Kemp, Chunkz and expert Maya Jama.
Richards said, ‘Usain Bolt is running to Gary Neville? Rooney out of retirement? I’m making my coaching debut. What else do you want? This is going to be so good.’
Neville added: “Just when I thought my days of being booed by City fans were over. I honestly hope my hamstrings last longer than five minutes.”
Fara Williams (L) will play for England, while Usain Bolt (R) will also participate for the third time
Sportsmail’s own Micah Richards will also be involved in England’s coaching lineup
Since UK UNICEF Ambassador Robbie Williams co-founded the concept in 2006, Soccer Aid has raised more than £47 million.
Last year’s match at Old Trafford, where the World XI retained their trophy, raised a record £9.3million.
The money raised this year could help UNICEF deliver two billion Covid-19 vaccines to frontline health workers, social workers and teachers around the world.