Line of Duty star Martin Compston hoping to impress David Beckham, Gary Neville and Wayne Rooney in Soccer Aid match
Scottish actor Martin Compston will hope to roll back the years when he takes part in this year’s Soccer Aid match.
Before being bitten by the acting bug, the Line of Duty star was a promising footballer.
Indeed, as a teenager he played for Aberdeen’s youth team, and after leaving school signed for his local team, Greenock Morton, making two appearances for the Cappielow Park club.
Other sports stars and celebrities who are attending and taking part in the match include Usain Bolt, Olly Murs, Sir Mo Farah, Tom Grennan, Fara Williams, Ore Oduba, Kelly Smith and Liv Cooke.
Beckham has announced he will present the trophy to the winning team at the match on September 4.
The football superstar, 46, has been a Unicef goodwill ambassador for 16 years.
The match is raising money to provide life-saving therapeutic food to treat severely malnourished children around the world.
The Children’s Investment Fund Foundation (CIFF) will also match public donations and the value of every ticket purchased for this year’s Soccer Aid, seeing every donation doubled, up to a total of £6.3 million.
Beckham said: “I’m delighted to be attending Soccer Aid for Unicef in my role as Unicef goodwill ambassador.
“What a year it has been for football and I can’t wait to watch England take on the Soccer Aid World XI in what is set to be an incredible match.
“I have been a goodwill ambassador for over 16 years and have seen first-hand the incredible work that Unicef does for children around the world.
“Soccer Aid for Unicef has never been more important, with the Covid crisis making life for kids in the world’s poorest countries even harder.
“With the support of the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, donations will go twice as far in supporting the health and nutrition of kids around the world.”
Covid-19 restrictions have disrupted food and medical supplies and prevented healthcare workers from treating vulnerable communities, causing more children to go into hunger or malnutrition.
Anna Hakobyan, chief impact officer at CIFF, said: “Today millions of children across the world are suffering from wasting, the worst form of malnutrition, and Covid has made it worse.
“In partnership with Unicef, we want to prevent and protect these children from hunger and malnutrition and bring life-saving therapeutic food to treat those already suffering.
“Let’s turn the tide on this unacceptable crisis and transform the lives of these vulnerable children so they can build the future they deserve!”
Steven Waugh, interim executive director at Unicef UK, added: “This year Soccer Aid for Unicef has its biggest goal ever as the Covid crisis is making life for children in the world’s poorest countries even harder – the support of CIFF is vital and every pound we raise from the campaign is another strike against the pandemic.
“It really is us against Covid for every child, everywhere”.
Soccer Aid began in 2006 and has since raised more than £47 million, including £9.3 million last year.
This year’s match will be broadcast live on ITV and STV.