Soccer Aid fundraising up on last year but fails to reach 2022’s record total

UNICEF's Soccer Aid saw celebrities and former professionals compete against each other.

The event was won 6-3 by an England side, which included former professionals Joe Cole and Jermaine Defoe and celebrities including the comedian Lee Mack, against a World XI side, that featured former Belgium forward Eden Hazard.

The sum raised was £400,000 up on the previous year, but down on 2022’s record total for the event when £15.6m was raised.

This year’s match brings the total raised by the Soccer Aid event to more than £100m since it launched 18 years ago.

“When we first started in 2006, we never imagined that one day we’d reach a total of over £100 million for UNICEF and children who need it most – it's incredible,” said the event’s co-founder and UNICEF UK ambassador Robbie Williams.

The event was broadcast on ITV and took place at Chelsea’s ground Stamford Bridge.

Ellen White became the event’s first ever female goal scorer for England, which was managed by a team including former England player Frank Lampard, former Premier League manager Harry Redknapp and the actress Vicky McClure.

The World XI team was managed by among others former Chelsea manager Mauricio Pochettino.

Other goals for England included a brace from entrepreneur Steven Bartlett, who was named player of the match.

During last night’s broadcast appeal films, presented by some of the players taking part, including the actors Tom Hiddleston and Martin Compston, and former England player Jill Scott, were shown to highlight the plight of children in areas of conflict, including Gaza and Ukraine.

The Children’s Investment Fund Foundation doubled every donation made to this year’s Soccer Aid for UNICEF campaign up to £4 million. This will go directly to a tackling extreme malnutrition.

UNICEF UK chief executive Jon Sparkes added: “It’s a huge achievement to reach over £100 million in total and it has only inspired us to continue to raise as much as we can for children in years to come. Thank you to everyone in the stadium and at home for their generous support."

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