Entertainment

Tom Grennan hopes Soccer Aid will bring “unity and pride”.

Musician Tom Grennan has said he hopes Soccer Aid will give people a sense of “unity and pride” when he plays in the charity soccer game for the second time this June.

The 26-year-old Little Bit Of Love singer was part of the winning team at last year’s Soccer Aid World XI and said his inner child “jumped with joy” when he met his soccer heroes.

This year he will play in the England squad, which is managed by Harry Redknapp and managed by former One Direction singer Liam Payne.

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Tom Grennan played in last year’s charity game (Martin Rickett/PA)

Grennan told the PA news agency he hopes people will develop a “sense of unity and a sense of pride” by watching and participating in the game.

He said: “Not just the footballers, because it’s also the fans involved and everyone behind the scenes involved in raising this money for Unicef.

“Everyone certainly contributes to making a difference.”

The singer was a hit with viewers when he performed last year, and he said his phone “exploded” as he walked off the pitch.

“It was crazy to think that people thought I was great at football and it was just good to be around the pros and also the celebrities here,” he added.

“Everyone was here to have fun and also to make a difference.”

Grennan said he doesn’t often get nervous when he plays gigs as he “turns nerves into excitement” and feels he stayed so relaxed throughout the game.

Despite his apparent composure, he admitted he was impressed by the stars as he played alongside some of the professional stars.

He told PA: “Footballers are like superheroes to me. When I was young I had all these footballer posters on my walls.

“And last year it was just crazy to be with Wayne Rooney, Paul Scholes, Roberto Carlos and players like that.

“The little kid in me was jumping for joy, but I was trying to keep myself pretty cool around her so I wasn’t acting weird, but inside I was screaming and screaming.”

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World XI’s Usain Bolt lifts the trophy last year (Martin Rickett/PA)

The world’s biggest celebrity soccer game returns in June to raise money for Unicef.

Since its inception in 2006, Soccer Aid has raised more than £60m for the humanitarian organization which helps to help children worldwide.

This year’s game between England and a Soccer Aid World XI will feature a number of familiar faces including debuts from TV presenter and comedian Alex Brooker, actor Lucien Laviscount and former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.

There will also be the return of Usain Bolt as Soccer Aid World XI captain, as well as Martin Compston, Mo Gilligan, Gary Neville, Fara Williams and Chunkz, all of whom will return to the pitch.

Maya Jama and Alex Scott will again host the charity match at the London Stadium in Stratford, east London, with Dermot O’Leary hosting the live show.

At half-time, Soccer Aid co-creator Robbie Williams will perform his 1997 hit ballad Angels.

Soccer Aid 2022 takes place at the London Stadium on June 12 and will be broadcast live on ITV and STV.

https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/tom-grennan-hopes-soccer-aid-will-bring-unity-and-pride-41480585.html Tom Grennan hopes Soccer Aid will bring “unity and pride”.

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