Who started Soccer Aid? When was the first UNICEF charity football match, who won and how much has been raised

The biggest charity match of the year makes a return this weekend.

Soccer Aid is back on Sunday evening, with a star-studded roster of celebrities and ex-professionals looking to raise money for UNICEF.

The hugely popular charity match will kick off at 7.30pm BST, and is taking place at West Ham’s London Stadium.

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The game is now in its 11th iteration, and boasts a long and storied history that has involved some of the biggest names from both the worlds of entertainment and football.

Here’s how Soccer Aid got started, and how much it has raised over the past 16 years...

Who started Soccer Aid?

Soccer Aid was conceptualised and initiated by Robbie Williams and Jonathan Wilkes, with the aim of raising money for UNICEF, and specifically to help vulnerable children around the world.

Both Williams and Wilkes featured regularly in the early years of the match, with the former captaining England multiple times before hanging up his boots in 2018.

When was the first Soccer Aid?

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The first ever Soccer Aid took place on May 22nd 2006, and was held at Old Trafford, Manchester in front of a crowd of 71,960.

England beat a World XI side captained by Gordon Ramsay in a 2-1 victory.

Goals from Wilkes and Les Ferdinand put the Three Lions’ into a two-goal lead before a handball inside the penalty area from singer-songwriter David Gray resulted in a spot-kick which was duly converted by Argentina legend Diego Maradona.

Wilkes was awarded the Man of the Match award.

In total, there have been 10 Soccer Aid fixtures to date, with the format switching from a biannual event to its current yearly schedule in 2018.

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England and the World XI have each won the game five times, but the Three Lions have lost the last three meetings.

How much has Soccer Aid raised?

Overall, Soccer Aid has raised in excess of £38 million in aid of UNICEF through a combination of ticket sales and donations from the public.

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