Manchester United formally handed over the Soccer Aid hosting baton to today's Premier League opponents Chelsea, after the 2018 match at Old Trafford raised a record-breaking total of £6,746,557 for UNICEF.
Thanks to the generous support of the public, ITV viewers, partners, a host of A-list celebrities and the UK Government – which matched all public donations pound-for-pound – the star-studded match, held at Old Trafford, surpassed its previous fundraising total records with 100 per cent of the money going to UNICEF’s vital work protecting children in danger around the world. To date, Soccer Aid for UNICEF has raised in excess of £30 million since the very first match, 12 years ago.
It was also revealed today that next year’s game, in June 2019, will take place at Stamford Bridge and UNICEF UK executive director Mike Penrose joined Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck and Manchester United’s executive vice chairman Ed Woodward to celebrate the huge 2018 total and mark the change of hosts for the 2019 match.
It will be the first time the match will be played at Chelsea and marks a return to the capital, with Soccer Aid 2008 having taken place at Wembley Stadium. Pre-registration for tickets is available at www.socceraid.org.uk.
The King comes back! Gallery
Eric Cantona was among the legends playing with celebrities in the Soccer Aid 2018 match at Old Trafford. 👑⚽
“We had big ambitions for Soccer Aid for UNICEF this year – we wanted to break our fundraising record for UNICEF and all the incredible work they do for children around the world, and we did it!Thank you so much to everyone who got involved, came to the match or donated on the night; you helped make it the biggest and best campaign so far. In the twelve years since Soccer Aid for UNICEF began we’ve raised more than £30 million, so that UNICEF can help keep even more children safe. That’s astonishing and something we could only dream of when we started out on the Soccer Aid journey all those years ago.”
Mike Penrose, executive director of UNICEF UK, said:
“We are hugely proud of Soccer Aid for UNICEF and the place it holds in the heart of the British public. With each game our supporters have proven what a generous nation we are.
“This year, we made twice the difference for children in danger with the UK Government matching public donations. Thanks goes to Manchester United and the Old Trafford crowd for being such great Soccer Aid for UNICEF custodians earlier this year. Our fans come from all over the country and we look forward to their support again at Stamford Bridge in June 2019. We hope to build on this year’s success and look forward to another amazing Soccer Aid for UNICEF match in 2019.”
Bruce Buck said:
“Everybody at Chelsea FC is absolutely delighted to be hosting the Soccer Aid 2019 game at Stamford Bridge.
“It truly is an honour for us to be involved in what has become a hotly anticipated fixture of the football calendar, which raises hugely important funds. I know our supporters will join the wider football family in getting behind this match and we look forward to hosting a fantastic event next summer.”
Soccer Aid for UNICEF 2018 saw UNICEF UK ambassador Robbie Williams’ England side, captained by Olly Murs, go head to head against a Soccer Aid World XI skippered by Olympic hero and Player of the Match, Usain Bolt.
United legend Eric Cantona made a historic return in front of a sold-out Old Trafford, as the game ended in a nail-biting penalty shoot-out with England beating the World XI 7-6 in sudden death.