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Wayne Rooney to play for England at Soccer Aid

Wayne Rooney to play for England at Soccer Aid
Wayne Rooney is to play for England at this year's Soccer Aid match in September.

England's all-time leading goalscorer Wayne Rooney will pull on the iconic jersey again for this year's Soccer Aid, it has been announced.

The 35-year-old - currently in charge of Championship side Derby County - managed the Three Lions for last year's edition of the annual charity match, which sees celebrities and former professionals take part in a battle between England and a Rest of the World side.

This year's game will take place at Manchester City's Etihad Stadium on Saturday, September 4 during the first international break of the 2021-22 season.

In addition to Rooney, other former footballers taking part include Gary Neville, Paul Scholes, Roberto Carlos, Patrice Evra, David James, Ashley Cole, Emile Heskey and Jamie Redknapp.

"Pulling on an England shirt is always special, so I'm absolutely delighted to be doing that again in Soccer Aid for UNICEF this September," said Rooney.

"Managing the England team last year was great but being around the players made me want to lace up the boots again – now I've got that chance, one last time."

Former Manchester United defender Neville added: "Just when I thought my days of being booed by City fans had passed! I'm hoping that my hamstrings hold out for more than five minutes, to be honest."

Celebrities announced include sprinting legend Usain Bolt, James Arthur, Tom Grennan, Olly Murs, Mark Wright, Paddy McGuinness, Ore Oduba, Kem Cetinay, Liv Cooke and Roman Kemp, while Micah Richards joins David Seaman on the England coaching team.

Harry Redknapp returns as the manager of the World XI team, with the new England manager due to be named at a later date.

Dermot O'Leary will host the event for ITV and STV and will be joined by new touchline reporter Alex Scott.

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