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Soccer Aid 2012 smashes all fundraising records for UNICEF’s work for children

6 September 2012
Members of the England team celebrate their victory at the end of Soccer Aid 2012, a fundraising event for UNICEF UK. © UNICEF 2012/United Kingdom

Old Trafford (UNICEF UK) – Three months on from ITV1's star-studded football fundraiser, UNICEF is delighted to announce that Soccer Aid 2012 has raised over £4.9 million for its vital work to save children’s lives around the world.

Thanks to the UK Government matching all public donations pound for pound, this figure has smashed all previous records set by the bi-annual event.

The Soccer Aid 2012 took place at a packed out Old Trafford on May 27th 2012 and was broadcast live on ITV1. The match saw celebrities and football legends team up for a fourth time to play an enthralling game of football whilst raising crucial money for UNICEF, the world’s leading children’s organisation.

A crowd of nearly 70,000 turned out to see star players including Will Ferrell, Gerard Butler, Woody Harrelson, Mike Myers, Jason Isaacs, James McAvoy and Edward Norton alongside team captains Robbie Williams and Michael Sheen in the climactic match which resulted in England defeating the Rest Of The World 3-1.

Throughout the match short films were broadcast presented by UNICEF UK Ambassadors Robbie Williams and Ewan McGregor and UNICEF supporters Keira Knightley, Lewis Hamilton, Eddie Izzard and Keeley Hawes showing how UNICEF helps some of the world’s most vulnerable children. The films featured children like Selma, who is so malnourished that she can no longer walk or play with her friends, and showed viewers how even the smallest donations can help transform children’s lives:

  • Just £5 could help provide a week’s supply of life saving emergency food to help bring a severely malnourished child back to health.
  • Just £20 could vaccinate 20 children against six killer diseases.

Robbie Williams, UNICEF UK Ambassador and co-founder of Soccer Aid, said, "I'm still basking in the glory of England's win and so pleased that this has been the best Soccer Aid yet with almost £5 million raised for UNICEF – for children. Thank you so so much to everyone who donated on the night or bought a ticket to the match - we couldn't have done it without you."

Michael Sheen, star of The Queen and Twilight and Rest of the World captain, added, “It was amazing to get back on the Old Trafford pitch this year and, despite not retaining our trophy from 2010, it was the most incredible year yet. Thanks to the pound for pound matching from the UK Government we were able to raise more money than ever before which will help UNICEF reach so many more children with life-saving care like vaccines and emergency food.”

Around the country the general public supported Soccer Aid by donating by phone, text or online on the night itself, taking part in ‘Keep it Up for Soccer Aid’ or buying a ticket to the match. Over 356,000 people donated towards the Soccer Aid appeal with over £1.5million of donations made by SMS.

The money raised by this year’s event will be spent helping UNICEF save children's lives by providing food, vaccines and other critical supplies. Amongst the children benefiting from Soccer Aid money this year will be children affected by the food crisis that continues to ravage West Africa.

Soccer Aid was produced by Initial, an Endemol Company, for ITV1 and was broadcast live on Sunday 27th May on ITV1. The four Soccer Aid events in 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2012 have together raised over £12 million for UNICEF’s work for children.



For more information about UNICEF, please contact the Alicia Jones in the UNICEF UK press office on 020 7375 6117 or 07738 014271 or aliciaj@unicef.org.uk.

For more information about Soccer Aid, please contact Rachel Hassal at Endemol on 0208 222 4176 or rachel.hassal@endemoluk.com

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