England’s top football players have today revealed what they wanted to be when they were five to launch UNICEF UK’s Children in Danger Summer Appeal, which is raising money to help protect millions of children from disease.

Video: EFF and Unicef Teaming Up to #BeatDisease

Every day, 17,000 children die before they reach their fifth birthday from diseases that are easy to prevent, mainly because they aren’t able to get the healthcare and life-saving vaccines they need.

England Captain Wayne Rooney revealed that he had dreams of becoming a singer, whilst Harry Kane wanted to be a fireman when he grew up and Phil Jagielka dreamed of being a cowboy.

The players were also asked what they were scared of when they were five, with Gary Cahill admitting to a fear of heights and Michael Carrick confessing that the villains in the pantomime were his biggest fear.

When asked what the furthest they had travelled was at five years old, both Rooney and Carrick revealed they’d never been further than Butlin’s, whilst Leighton Baines had never left Kirby.

Last year the England Footballer’s Foundation (EFF) announced a four year partnership with Unicef, the world’s leading children’s organisation, that will help tackle malaria, one of the gravest dangers for children in sub-Saharan Africa. Malaria kills one child every sixty seconds.

England captain, Wayne Rooney said: “When I was very little I was quite shy but I remember wanting to be a singer. I’d never have imagined being able to achieve the things I’ve done, representing England and even captaining my country. Due to disease, millions of children aren’t even able to reach their fifth birthday which is absolutely shocking. All the lads are really proud to be supporting Unicef’s Children in Danger campaign, to help keep more children safe from disease.”

England vice-captain Gary Cahill said: “As long as I can remember I always wanted to be a footballer, but when I was five my biggest dream was to be able to fly. Unsurprisingly, I haven’t quite achieved that but I’ve been lucky enough to live out my other childhood dreams. That so many children are being denied this chance and are dying from diseases that are so easily prevented is heart-breaking, but it’s something we can change. We’re calling on the public to join our team and help beat disease.”

Earlier this month, England & Everton Defender Phil Jagielka visited St Oswald’s Primary School in Liverpool with the England Footballer’s Foundation & Unicef UK, joining in with a class of five and six year old children who were drawing pictures of what they wanted to be when they grow up. St Oswald’s is a Level 2 Unicef UK Rights Respecting School. The Unicef UK Rights Respecting Schools Award recognises achievement in putting the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) at the heart of a school’s practice and culture.

Players including Wayne Rooney, Gary Cahill, Jack Wilshere, Joe Hart and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain will also be fronting a nation-wide publicity campaign raising awareness of the partnership and Unicef’s work protecting children from disease.

The England Footballers Foundation and Unicef have teamed up to protect millions of children from the danger of disease. Visit unicef.org.uk to help keep children safe.

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