The England Footballer’s Foundation and Unicef UK Team Up in Campaign to #BeatDisease

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Friday 5th June - 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.

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.”  

Unicef UK Executive Director David Bull said: 

“Unicef already supplies vaccines for one in three of the world’s children, and in 2014 we delivered 26 million mosquito nets to help keep millions of children and their families protected from malaria, but we won’t rest until every child is safe. By teaming up with the England Footballer’s Foundation & Unicef, the public can support our life-saving work and help protect millions of children from 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.

--ENDS--

Notes to editors:

Images available here: http://bit.ly/1KPodSI

Campaign Video available to download here: https://vimeo.com/129643603 Password: five

Full details of player answers:

Wayne Rooney: “When I was five I wanted to be a singer; I was scared of ghosts, I never imagined I could drive a car, the furthest I had travelled was Butlins, my favourite costume was Spiderman, I wished I could stay up late and my hero was my dad.”

Harry Kane: “When I was five I wanted to be a fireman; I was scared of the sea, I never imagined I could play golf, the furthest I had travelled was Portugal, my favourite costume was Batman, I wished I could be Batman and my hero was David Beckham.”

Jack Wilshere: “When I was five I wanted to be a footballer, I’ve always wanted to be a footballer, so I feel really lucky that I’ve been able to live out my dream. When I was five I was scared of wasps, I used to hate it when they were buzzing around, and bees too to be fair. When I was five, my hero was David Beckham. He wasn’t England captain yet, but a few years later he became captain and all I wanted to do was play for England.”

Nathanial Clyne: “When I was five my hero was Gianfranco Zola because he was small like me and I admired his skills; When I was five I was afraid of insects, and I’m still a little afraid of insects now. When I was five I wanted to be Superman, because I always wanted to be able to fly.”

Michael Carrick: “When I was five I wanted to be like my dad; I was scared of villains in the panto, I never imagined I could hit the cross bar, the furthest I had travelled was Butlins, I wished I could drive and my hero was Superman.”

Adam Lallana: “When I was five I wanted to be a footballer! I was scared of the dark and I think my heroes were probably the Power Rangers.”

Jordan Henderson: “When I was five I wanted to be Batman. I was scared of the Penguin from Batman and my hero was Spiderman!”

Phil Jagielka: “When I was five I wanted to be a cowboy; I was scared of the dark, I never imagined I could play golf, the furthest I had travelled was Benidorm, my favourite costume was Spiderman, I wished I could grow up quicker and my hero was my brother.”

Joe Hart: “When I was five I was scared of clowns and monsters, I wished I could go to the moon and my hero was Sharkie from Sharkie and George.”

Leighton Baines: “When I was five I was scared of the dark, I never imagined I could ride a bike, I had never even left Kirby, I wished I could grow up quicker and my hero was my granddad.”

Gary Cahill: “When I was five I wanted to be a footballer; I was scared of heights, I wished I could fly and my hero was He-Man.”

Andros Townsend: “When I was five I was scared of the dark, and my hero were the Power Rangers.”

Chris Smalling: “When I was five I wanted to be a fireman; I was scared of the dark, my favourite costume was Superman, I wished I could fly and my hero was Mohammed Ali.”

Ryan Mason: “When I was five I wanted to be a wrestler; I was scared of dogs, my favourite costume was Buzz Lightyear, I wished I could fly and my hero was my cousin.”

Jack Butland: “When I was five I wanted to be a rugby player; I was scared of my grandad, I wished I could drive and my hero was Mohammed Ali.”

Theo Walcott: “When I was five my favourite costume was Spiderman and my hero was my brother and sister.

James Milner: “When I was five I wanted to be a fireman; I was scared of ghosts, my favourite costume was my Leeds United kit, I wished I could drive and my hero was Tony Yeboah.”

Kieran Gibbs: “When I was five I wanted to be Superman; I was scared of spiders, my favourite costume was Superman, I wished I could fly and my hero was Superman.”

Danny Welbeck: “When I was five I was scared of dogs, I wished I could have super powers and my hero was Thierry Henry.”

Phil Jones: “When I was five I wanted to be a fireman; I was scared of my mum, the furthest I had travelled was Scotland and I wished I could be invisible.”

Rob Green: “When I was five I wanted to be a fireman; I was scared of my dad, I never imagined I could touch a crossbar, I wished I could stay up late and my hero was DangerMouse.”

--ENDS--

Notes for editors:

For further information please contact the Unicef UK Press Office on +44 (0)20 7375 6030 or media@unicef.org.uk

About Unicef

Unicef is the world’s leading organisation for children, promoting the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.  

Unicef UK raises funds to protect children in danger, transform their lives and build a safer world for tomorrow’s children.  As a registered charity we raise funds through donations from individuals, organisations and companies and we lobby and campaign to keep children safe. Unicef UK also runs programmes in schools, hospitals and with local authorities in the UK. For more information please visit unicef.org.uk

About the England Footballers Foundation (EFF)

The England Footballer’s Foundation was established in 2007 on behalf of the England squad following the team’s decision to donate their match fees and time to chosen charity partners. Since its inception, the EFF has raised almost £4million, provided nearly 200 player appearances, produced national awareness campaigns and created exclusive EFF events. In October 2014 EFF announced Unicef as their official international charity partner. www.englandfootballersfoundation.com. The England Footballers’ Foundation is an identifiable portfolio of restricted funds of the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF), held and distributed principally on the direction of the England players. CAF is a charity (registered number 268369) dedicated to getting the best for charities and their donors around the world. CAF works with donors to maximise their charitable giving, connecting them to the causes that matter and ensuring their donations get to where they are needed. For more information visit www.cafonline.org