The biggest charity game of the year returns this weekend.
Now in its 11th iteration, the game has had a long and colorful history involving some of the biggest names in entertainment and football.
How Soccer Aid started and how much it has collected over the last 16 years…
Who founded Soccer Aid?
Soccer Aid was conceived and initiated by Robbie Williams and Jonathan Wilkes with the aim of raising money for UNICEF and specifically helping vulnerable children around the world.
Both Williams and Wilkes featured regularly in the early years of the game, with the former England captain making several appearances before hanging up his boots in 2018.
When was the first football aid?
The very first Soccer Aid took place on May 22, 2006 at Old Trafford, Manchester, in front of 71,960 spectators.
England beat a World 11 side captained by Gordon Ramsay 2-1.
Goals from Wilkes and Les Ferdinand gave the Three Lions a two-goal lead before a handball from singer-songwriter David Gray in the box resulted in a free-kick that was duly converted by Argentine legend Diego Maradona.
Wilkes was awarded the Man of the Match award.
There have been 10 Soccer Aid games in total to date, with the 2018 format changing from a biannual event to the current annual schedule.
England and World 11 have each won the game five times, but the Three Lions have lost the last three meetings.
How much has Soccer Aid raised?
In total, Soccer Aid has raised over £38m for UNICEF through a combination of ticket sales and donations from the public.
https://www.nationalworld.com/sport/football/who-started-soccer-aid-when-was-the-first-unicef-charity-football-match-who-won-and-how-much-has-been-raised-3728695 Who founded Soccer Aid? When was the first benefit game