The spread hasn’t been helped by Soccer Aid last night, which raised almost £2 million pounds for UNICEF, who are helping children all over the world lead better lives. Their work helps to rebuild the lives of children in Haiti, fight malaria in Guinea and vaccinate children in Madagascar from diseases like tetanus, polio and measles.
Take Zinedine Zidane, Ryan Giggs and Louise Figo and Woody Harrelson and pitch them against Robbie Williams, Oly Murs, Alan Shearer and Teddy Sherringham
It’s a madcap idea – one of Williams’s best! And amazingly it worked. At one stage #socceraid was the biggest worldwide trending topic on Twitter (click on the hashtag to have a look at the most recent updates).
It was a friendly game, but here at JustGiving we thought it was an amazing achievement and more fun than watching the real England.
The first half was somewhat of a “slow burn”. England were determined to keep a clean sheet and seemed to have learned from their professional counterparts, and set about soaking up pressure and launching blistering counterattacks.
Even Zinedine Zidane (the finest player to walk the earth in the last 50 years, seen here nut-megging Damien Lewis of Band of Brothers fame ) and Ryan Giggs‘s (the greatest Welsh player in the history of the game) delightful passing and vision could not unpick the English defence that was marshalled by Ben Sheppard (Here he is interviewing a blind 96 yr old lady who is taking a driving lesson) the Ex GMTV (Warning…amusing clip of GMTV interview fail) presenter, whilst Robbie William’s kept Dr. Evil quiet.
As the minutes ticked by, England started to assert themselves. The SAS (Sheringham and Shearer) seemed to remember to good old days of Euro ’96 and with the flying Oly Murs proving that he really does have the X-Factor on the right wing, it wasn’t long before Redknapp, Shearer and Sheringham combined to Put England 1-0 up.
There was still time for Westlife’s Nicky Byrne to miss a penalty in the first half – unfortunately for Nicky he has taken three penalties in total in Soccer Aid matches, two at old Trafford in 2010 and one at Wembley in 2008, and has missed them all!
The first half came to a close… Just enough time for James Corden to give a moral boosting team talk.
Amazingly, the Rest of the World took Ryan Giggs and Jens Lehamn – the crazy ex-German International goalkeeper) off, and replaced them with Shane Filan and Patrick Keilty.
England went 2-0 up, a glancing Sheringham special.
That’s when the Rest of the World started playing – laying siege to the England goal, and try as he might, Jamie Theakston could not stop them pulling one and then two back to make it 2-2. Joe Calzaghe (yes, the extremely nimble and super famous boxer) slid in for the first and Sami Hyypia bundled the other over the line from a corner.
The rest, as they say, is history. England lost the most sublime and ridiculous penalty shoot ever. Hearing about David James’s knee injury Jamie Theakston threw his hat into the ring for the World Cup proper with a magical performance… But it wasn’t enough. Watch it all here:
Lots of money was raised and it was a brilliant night all round. If you fancy helping UNICEF you can donate here.
Ralph Little, Ricky Hatton, Paddy McGuiness, Robbie Williams, Harry Redknapp, Teddy Sheringham, Bradley Walsh, Jamie Redknapp, Olly Murs, Bryan Robson, Rupert Penry-Jones, Alan Shearer, Nicky Butt, Dominic Cooper, Damien Lewis, Jamie Theakston, David Seaman, Jonathan Wilkes, Martin Keown, Ben Shephard, James Corden, Clive Tyrrell
Rest of the World
Shane Filan, James Kyson-Lee (from Heroes), Michael Sheen, Kenny Dalglish, Ryan Giggs, Gethin Jones, Nicky Byrne, Ian Rush, Brian Lara, Simon Baker, Woody Harrelson, Patrick Kielty, Jens Lehman, Gordon Ramsay, Joe Calzaghe, Henrik Larsson, Eric Harrison