01/12/2009 14:05, Report by Nick Coppack

Red stars united against HIV

Wayne Rooney's Fratton Park hat-trick wasn't his only star turn of the weekend. Just 24 hours later, the striker joined his United team-mates at Old Trafford for the club's annual United for UNICEF gala dinner.

The star-studded event, hosted by TV presenter Patrick Kielty and held in aid of the Reds' international charity partner, raised more than £75,000. The money will be well spent on continuing UNICEF's fight to prevent the spread of HIV. The Live Free from HIV campaign aims to ensure young people around the world have the necessary skills and knowledge to protect themselves and their loved ones from the virus. Almost every minute of every day, two young people are infected with HIV, so preventing its spread is key to tackling the global epidemic.

The United first-team and coaching staff were just some of the celebrities in attendance on Sunday night. The event also featured a special performance from pop sensations The Saturdays, as well as top names from the world of sport, TV and showbiz.

Sir Alex said the annual dinner is an event he always looks forward to on the calendar.

"Iit’s a chance to celebrate the positive impact the club has made on children’s lives," he said. "Sunday was extra special because we celebrated 10 years of working with UNICEF, the leading children’s organisation. 

"As a club we are committed to young people and our partnership with UNICEF is testament to this. HIV and AIDS is the biggest challenge faced by young people and the money we raised will suupport UNICEF’s HIV prevention work. That's something we are very proud of.”

Click on the image above to see a photo gallery of Sunday's prestigious event.


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