Belfast Telegraph

Niall Horan joins Soccer Aid’s World XI team

The One Direction star first took part in the event three years ago.

Niall Horan joins Soccer Aid’s World XI team (Soccer Aid/Unicef/PA)
Niall Horan joins Soccer Aid’s World XI team (Soccer Aid/Unicef/PA)

Niall Horan will take to the football pitch for this year’s Soccer Aid tournament alongside Usain Bolt and Didier Drogba.

The One Direction star has signed up to the annual sporting event- which sees celebrities and ex-professional footballers join forces in aid of Unicef – after previously taking part in 2016.

The Irish singer will form part of the Soccer Aid World XI team alongside retired sprinter Bolt and former Chelsea FC player Drogba, as well as Love Island star Kem Cetinay and freestyle footballer Billy Wingrove.

Niall Horan (Soccer Aid/Unicef)

They will play against the England squad, currently made up of Olympic champion runner Sir Mo Farah, former footballer Jamie Redknapp, TV presenters Ben Shephard and Mark Wright, fitness expert Joe Wicks, and Jeremy Lynch, who is in a freestyle football duo with Wingrove.

Slow Hands singer Horan faced off against his One Direction co-star Louis Tomlinson at the 2016 tournament, with his team losing 3-2 to England.

Horan said: “I was gutted to miss Soccer Aid for Unicef last time, so I’m over the moon to be back for this year’s game.

“Football was pretty much all I did when I was a kid, kicking the ball against the wall until the sun went down. To know that we’re playing this year to help children everywhere play, no matter where they are, and just like we did back then, means so much.

“It’s always an amazing thing to be a part of, and I can’t wait to get back on that pitch!”

Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid (Soccer Aid/Unicef)

The World XI team, formerly known as the Rest Of The World side, will be managed by Harry Redknapp and Piers Morgan.

The England squad is being co-managed by Sam Allardyce and Morgan’s Good Morning Britain co-star, Susanna Reid.

Soccer Aid for Unicef was co-founded by Robbie Williams and Jonathan Wilkes in 2006.

Williams is unable to take part in the match this year due to a scheduling clash, but is supportive of the campaign as a Unicef UK ambassador.

Soccer Aid 2019, which will raise money for children around the world, takes place at Chelsea FC’s Stamford Bridge on June 16. It will be broadcast live on ITV and STV.



From Belfast Telegraph