‘MAESTRIO’ – a legends’ charity match featuring former Celtic star Paul McStay and ex-Manchester United captain Rio Ferdinand – will take place on Sunday, September 7, 2014
The unique event will take place at Celtic Park and net proceeds will be split equally between Celtic FC Foundation and the Rio Ferdinand Foundation to support children and young people facing poverty and disadvantage at home and overseas.
Celtic FC Foundation have selected UNICEF and War Child as main beneficiaries and the Club’s charitable arm will assist in their humanitarian work in a number of current Middle East countries. Funds will also assist local projects. However, one of Celtic’s principal areas of work will be to provide international aid and support through these well-respected charities.
The Rio Ferdinand Foundation will work with local community partners in both London and across Townships in South Africa to support and assist children, young people and families suffering the effects of poverty, violence and abuse on a day-to-day basis.
Celtic FC Foundation CEO, Tony Hamilton, said: "From our living rooms we have all witnessed some of the terrible vivid horror of conflict in recent days and the particular effects that these events have had on children.
“The work of UNICEF and War Child takes no sides but simply cares for all the innocent victims of conflict on a humanitarian level. The match in September will bring together some great names in football who want to make a difference.
“We hope as many supporters as possible can join us to assist children and their families who so desperately need our help.”
Rio Ferdinand Foundation CEO, Gary Stannett MBE, said: "Children, young people and families are the future of any community, and we all have a responsibility and moral obligation to help wherever it is needed, either on our doorstep in Glasgow and London or internationally where conflict and absolute poverty are so visible.
“Funds raised from the Maestrio match will support us in continuing our work that has the ongoing aims of eradicating the threat of poverty, violence and trauma towards our young people and provide much needed humanitarian relief in conflict areas.
“It is absolutely fantastic for us to be involved in such a prestigious event and I would like to thank Celtic FC again and all the players who have given up their time, expertise and resources to make the Maestrio game happen.
“We are proud that the Rio Ferdinand Foundation can work with Celtic FC Foundation, War Child and UNICEF to change lives of young people and families around the world.”
Jane Cooper, UNICEF UK Director of Communication, said: "UNICEF works to save and protect the rights of all children, no matter what their race, religion or background.
“Many hundreds of thousands of children throughout the Middle East are living without access to basic life-saving essentials, such as food, clean water and shelter.
“We would like to thank Celtic for supporting our work in the region and helping to make these children’s lives a little bit better.”
War Child CEO, Rob Williams, said: "We are delighted to have this support from Celtic FC Foundation.
“The money raised will go towards helping some of the world’s most vulnerable children, who are facing the most brutal conflicts on a daily basis. As a non-political, impartial organisation we work to reach the children most in need through our child protection centres, through trauma counselling, and through maintaining their education. On behalf of War Child – thank you.”
Tickets for the Maestrio Charity Match, sponsored by Flip and Magners, are now on general sale, priced at £10 for adults and £5 for concessions (maximum of 10 per person).
They are available to purchase ONLINE, by calling 0871 226 1888, by visiting the Celtic Ticket Office or the Club’s retail outlets at Argyle Street, Sauchiehall Street, Clydebank, Coatbridge or East Kilbride.