Three months on from ITV1's star-studded football fundraiser, UNICEF is delighted to announce that Soccer Aid 2012 has raised over £4.9 million for its vital work to save children's lives around the world.

Thanks to the UK Government matching all public donations pound for pound, this figure has smashed all previous records set by the bi-annual event.

Soccer Aid 2012 took place at a packed out Old Trafford on May 27th 2012 and was broadcast live on ITV1. The match saw celebrities and football legends team up for a fourth time to play an enthralling game of football whilst raising crucial money for UNICEF, the world’s leading children’s organisation. 

A crowd of nearly 70,000 turned out to see star players including Will Ferrell, Gerard Butler, Woody Harrelson, Mike Myers, Jason Isaacs, James McAvoy and Edward Norton alongside team captains Robbie Williams and Michael Sheen in the climactic match which resulted in England defeating the Rest Of The World 3-1.

Throughout the match short films were broadcast presented by UNICEF UK Ambassadors Robbie Williams and Ewan McGregor and UNICEF supporters Keira Knightley, Lewis Hamilton, Eddie Izzard and Keeley Hawes showing how UNICEF helps some of the world’s most vulnerable children. The films featured children like Selma, who is so malnourished that she can no longer walk or play with her friends, and showed viewers how even the smallest donations can help transform children’s lives:

• Just £5 could help provide a week’s supply of life saving emergency food to help bring a severely malnourished child back to health. 

• Just £20 could vaccinate 20 children against six killer diseases
Robbie Williams, UNICEF UK Ambassador and co-founder of Soccer Aid, said, "I'm still basking in the glory of England's win and so pleased that this has been the best Soccer Aid yet with almost £5 million raised for UNICEF – for children. Thank you so so much to everyone who donated on the night or bought a ticket to the match - we couldn't have done it without you."

Michael Sheen, star of The Queen and Twilight and Rest of the World captain, added, “It was amazing to get back on the Old Trafford pitch this year and, despite not retaining our trophy from 2010, it was the most incredible year yet. Thanks to the pound for pound matching from the UK Government we were able to raise more money than ever before which will help UNICEF reach so many more children with life-saving care like vaccines and emergency food.”

Around the country the general public supported Soccer Aid by donating by phone, text or online on the night itself, taking part in ‘Keep it Up for Soccer Aid’ or buying a ticket to the match.

Over 356,000 people donated towards the Soccer Aid appeal with over £1.5million of donations made by SMS.

The money raised by this year’s event will be spent helping UNICEF save children's lives by providing food, vaccines and other critical supplies. Amongst the children benefiting from Soccer Aid money this year will be children affected by the food crisis that continues to ravage West Africa.

Soccer Aid was produced by Initial, an Endemol Company, for ITV1 and was broadcast live on Sunday 27th May on ITV1. The four Soccer Aid events in 2006, 2008, 2010 and 2012 have together raised over £12 million for UNICEF’s work for children.


For more information about UNICEF, please contact the Alicia Jones in the UNICEF UK press office on 020 7375 6117 or 07738 014271 or

For more information about Soccer Aid, please contact Rachel Hassal at Endemol on 0208 222 4176 or

Or Ben Webster at ITV on 020 715 73029 or 

Notes to Editors:

• There were thousands of donations made to UNICEF by phone, online and text throughout Soccer Aid. Thanks goes to call centres manned by volunteers up and down the country. Special thanks for making this happen must go to BT and BT Agile Media, ITV Interactive staff, Manchester United, BGL, Confero Incom Telecommunications and Vertex. Sincere thanks also to the mobile network operators Vodafone, O2, Orange, 3, Virgin and T-mobile for their support of Soccer Aid by agreeing to pass on the full £5 of each SMS donation to UNICEF.

• Over 100 ITV staff volunteered making this one of the biggest volunteer projects in ITV.

• There were a total of 10 call centres around the country that took over 16,000 donations.

• Over 300 000 SMS transactions were made each donating £5

England Squad: Robbie Williams (CPT), Jason Isaacs, Mark Owen, Marvin Humes, Aston Merrygold, Olly Murs, John Bishop, Jonathan Wilkes, Ben Shephard, Jamie Theakston, Paddy McGuinness, Teddy Sheringham, David Seaman, Kevin Phillips, Des Walker, Martin Keown. Manager: Sam Allardyce, Asst Manager: Peter Reid, Coach: Bradley Walsh

Rest of the World Squad: Michael Sheen (CPT), Will Ferrell, Gerard Butler, Mike Myers, Woody Harrelson, Edward Norton, James McAvoy, Joe Calzaghe, Patrick Kielty, Sergio Pizzorno, Gordon Ramsay, Hernan Crespo, Clarence Seedorf, Edwin van der Sar, Roy Keane, Jaap Stam. Manager: Kenny Dalglish, Asst Manager: Ian Rush


Soccer Aid is a biennial event that raises money for UNICEF to help save and change children’s lives across the globe. UNICEF is the world’s leading organisation working for children in more than 190 countries. Together with our partners, UNICEF delivers health care, nutrition, education and protection to children in urgent need, while working with governments to ensure they deliver on their promise to protect and promote the rights of every child. UNICEF relies entirely on voluntary donations from individuals, governments, institutions and corporations, and is not funded by the UN budget.