Soccer Aid for UNICEF today announced that the 2018 campaign raised a record-breaking fundraising total of £6,746,557 – with 100% of the money going to Unicef’s vital work protecting children in danger around the world.
Thanks to the generous support of the public, ITV viewers, our partners, a host of A-list celebrities and the UK Government – which matched all public donations pound-for-pound – the star-studded match surpassed its previous fundraising total records. To date, Soccer Aid for Unicef has raised in excess of £30 million since the very first match, 12 years ago.
It was also revealed today that next year’s game, in June 2019, will take place at Stamford Bridge. This is the first time the match will be played at Chelsea and marks a return to the capital, with Soccer Aid 2008 having taken place at Wembley Stadium. Pre-registration for tickets is available here: www.socceraid.org.uk.
Manchester United formally handed over the Soccer Aid for Unicef baton before their Premier League match against Chelsea. Unicef UK Executive Director, Mike Penrose, joined Chelsea Chairman, Bruce Buck, and Manchester United’s Executive Vice Chairman, Ed Woodward, to celebrate the huge 2018 total and mark the change of hosts for the 2019 match.
Robbie Williams, Unicef UK Ambassador and co-founder of Soccer Aid for Unicef, said: “We had big ambitions for Soccer Aid for Unicef this year – we wanted to break our fundraising record for Unicef and all the incredible work they do for children around the world, and we did it! Thank you so much to everyone who got involved, came to the match or donated on the night; you helped make it the biggest and best campaign so far. In the twelve years since Soccer Aid for Unicef began we’ve raised more than £30 million, so that Unicef can help keep even more children safe. That’s astonishing and something we could only dream of when we started out on the Soccer Aid journey all those years ago.”
Mike Penrose, Executive Director of Unicef UK, said: “We are hugely proud of Soccer Aid for Unicef and the place it holds in the heart of the British public. With each game our supporters have proven what a generous nation we are. This year, we made twice the difference for children in danger with the UK Government matching public donations. Thanks goes to Manchester United and the Old Trafford crowd for being such great Soccer Aid for Unicef custodians earlier this year. Our fans come from all over the country and we look forward to their support again at Stamford Bridge in June 2019. We hope to build on this year’s success and look forward to another amazing Soccer Aid for Unicef match in 2019.”
International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt said: "The British public are at the heart of the success of Soccer Aid for Unicef 2018. Without their determination to support others in need we could not have achieved this spectacular total.
“Through UK Aid Match the government has matched pound-for-pound donations from the British public. The impact of Soccer Aid and our support of it through UK Aid Match is having a global and lasting impact. Thank you to everyone who donated to this fantastic cause.”
Bruce Buck said: “Everybody at Chelsea FC is absolutely delighted to be hosting the Soccer Aid 2019 game at Stamford Bridge. It truly is an honour for us to be involved in what has become a hotly anticipated fixture of the football calendar, which raises hugely important funds. I know our supporters will join the wider football family in getting behind this match and we look forward to hosting a fantastic event next summer.”
Soccer Aid for Unicef 2018 saw Unicef UK Ambassador Robbie Williams’ England side, captained by Olly Murs, go head to head against a Soccer Aid World XI skippered by Olympic hero and Player of the Match, Usain Bolt. United legend Eric Cantona made a historic return in front of a sold-out Old Trafford, as the game ended in a nail-biting penalty shoot-out with England beating the World XI 7-6 in sudden death.
Throughout the ITV show, produced by Initial, short appeal films presented by Unicef UK Ambassadors and supporters, including: Michael Sheen; Dermot O'Leary and Keeley Hawes highlighted where the money raised by Soccer Aid for Unicef goes.
Soccer Aid for Unicef 2018 was made possible thanks to the generous support of a range of partners, including: Asprey; Disney; Hublot; Jamaica Tourist Board; JD Sports; King Power; Lidl; Manchester United FC, Puma; Reiss; and The FA.