Soccer Aid is a charity football match which to date has raised £6.5 million in aid of UNICEF UK. The event began in 2006, when the first match was initiated by Robbie, who, as a valued Ambassador of UNICEF, chose the charity to benefit from donations made by the public. The match sees two teams, England (captained by Robbie) and the Rest of the World, bringing together celebrities and World Cup legends to battle it out on the pitch.
Money is raised for UNICEF UK via a telethon during the course of the match – viewers are asked to donate online, by phone or by text and are prompted to do so through viewing appeal films, which are aired throughout the TV show. In addition, money is raised through a community fundraising initiative, ticket sales, a stadium collection, a competition and through sponsorship.
Television coverage of the event began on ITV on 22 May 2006 in a show presented by Ant & Dec, which raised £2.6m. The event returned on 7 September 2008 raising £1.14m, and again on 6 June 2010 (at Old Trafford), hosted by Dermot O’Leary. The 2010 event saw the biggest income to date of £2.779m.
On Sunday 27th May 2012 Soccer Aid will once again take place in the infamous ‘Theatre of Dreams’ Old Trafford stadium, with a capacity for 75,000. It will be televised live on ITV1 and will feature famous faces from television and the world of sport. This year's match is the fourth Soccer Aid to raise money for UNICEF UK.
Soccer Aid raises money for UNICEF to help children around the world. It has raised over £8.3 million to date, helping UNICEF to make a lasting difference to the lives of children in over 190 countries around the world. In 2010, Soccer Aid enabled UNICEF to reach children affected by the earthquake in Haiti, and support child survival programmes in Madagascar, Peru and Guinea.
Every minute of every day, children die from easily preventable causes like measles and diarrhoea. Millions of children don’t go to school, lack food, shelter or clean water. Soccer Aid 2012 will support UNICEF’s child survival work and help to save and transform the lives of the world’s most vulnerable children.