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Bookmark and Share Matt Smith to play for England in Soccer Aid 2014

3/17/2014 08:46:00 am - Reported by John Bowman

Matt Smith will be playing football for England when he takes part in this year's Soccer Aid.

And he'll be facing a former nemesis in the shape of Michael Sheen - who provided the voice of the sinister House in The Doctor's Wife - at the charity event at Old Trafford on Sunday 8th June. Doors open at 5pm and kick-off is at 8pm, with the match being broadcast live on ITV.

It is being held in aid of the global children's charity UNICEF, with Smith signed up for Robbie Williams's England team. Meanwhile, Sheen is heading the opposing Rest of the World side. Joining Smith on the England squad will be Bradley Walsh, who appeared in The Sarah Jane Adventures story The Day of the Clown.

Before he became an actor, Smith's dream was to be a professional footballer, and he played for the youth teams at Northampton Town, Nottingham Forest, and Leicester City, but the spinal condition spondylosis wrecked his sporting hopes. However, he retains links to the game through his avid support for Blackburn Rovers, and the 2010 episode The Lodger saw the actor don a number 11 football shirt as the Doctor and lead fictional pub team The King's Arms to victory.

Williams, who is UNICEF's UK ambassador, said:
Soccer Aid returns for the fifth time in June and I admit there are scores to settle.

Leading the England team, I will be making sure we defend that trophy against Rest of the World. There's never been a better time for us to show our support for UNICEF, so please dig deep and buy your tickets now!
And UNICEF UK executive director David Bull said:
Soccer Aid 2014 will raise vital money to help some of the world's most vulnerable children get life-saving food, medicine and clean water.

Every day, children are in serious danger and thousands die needlessly in the struggle against poverty, hunger and disease. It's time for us all to act. Please, buy a ticket to go to Soccer Aid or watch the match on ITV and help us change children's lives.
In the past six years, Soccer Aid has raised more than £12m to help children around the world.

Tickets for the match cost from £20 for adults and from £5 for under-16s and over-65s, with premium seats at £40 (plus booking fees), and can be bought via the Soccer Aid site.

Sheen features briefly in his kit in the promotional video below, while The Lodger guest star James Corden can also be seen cheering:


Other celebrities on the England team are Stephen Moyer, Jamie Theakston, Mark Owen, Jack Whitehall, Damian Lewis, Paddy McGuinness, John Bishop and Olly Murs, while Sheen's celebrity players will include James McAvoy, Nicky Byrne, Adam Richman, Patrick Kielty and Gordon Ramsay. Former professional footballers joining the England side are Teddy Sheringham, Jamie Redknapp, David Seaman, Paul Ince and Jamie Carragher, with Jaap Stam and Edwin van der Sar among those playing for Rest of the World.

UPDATE - 8th JUNE: Sadly, Matt Smith was unable to take part in the game because of an injury. In a statement, he said:

It is with great disappointment that I will have to withdraw from this year's Soccer Aid as a result of injury. I have always wanted to play at Old Trafford, a personal dream, and was hugely excited to have the opportunity to support UNICEF. I do hope I will be invited to join Soccer Aid and UNICEF in the future and play football for such a good cause.

I really am so sorry to disappoint anyone who may have bought tickets to see me play. I can't express my apologies enough. However, I am certain this year's incredible line-up will still entertain and, most importantly, continue to raise money for children all over the world.