Martin Compston: Line of Duty actor Martin Compston says ‘all children should have the right to a normal life’ ahead of Soccer Aid 2022

Martin Compston has said all children should have the fundamental right to a normal life ahead of Soccer Aid 2022.

The 38-year-old year old Scot, known for playing Detective Inspector Steve Arnott in Line Of Duty, will return to play for Soccer Aid 2022 as part of the World XI team.

Before becoming an actor, he played for Scottish professional football club Greenock Morton.

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Compston will be joined wby a host of celebrties at the charity event, inluding Line of Duty co-star Vicky McClure, Liam Payne, Lee Mack and Tom Grennan.

Martin Compston has said all children should have the right to play football safely ahead of Soccer Aid 2022. Picture: Soccer Aid/ITV

Speaking ahead of the charity match, he said: “I loved kicking a ball. That was basically all we did.

“Come home, drop your clothes. Get a ball, go out, kick until your mum shouted on you in.

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“British bulldog was another one, your shins took a bit of doing with that but it was just camaraderie with your pals.

“Those bonds begin when you are kids and you are running about, scraping your knees.

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“You can make fortresses out of walls and forts out of hill tops.

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He added: “It is really important that kids have the opportunity to do that safely.

“Children should have the right to play.

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“They should have the fundamental right to a normal life."

Last month, Compston said it was becoming an actor that allowed him to achieve his footballing dreams.

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Speaking to the PA news agency ahead of the match, he said: “It’s a weird thing in terms of I gave up on my dream of being a footballer when I was 17, when I was playing Scottish second division with (Greenock) Morton, but I was very realistic that that was probably about my level.

“So, weirdly, by giving up on that, I’ve sort of achieved my dreams, playing at all these amazing stadiums in front of huge crowds, with genuine legends, people who I would have never got to share a pitch with, so I’m very grateful for that.”

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Compston also revealed that he finds himself starstruck and “shaking” when he meets his footballing idols, saying: “I don’t really get overly starstruck in terms of in our industry, because, you know, it’s just our work, but with footballers I really do.

“There’s times I can be shaking, when you see people like Roberto Carlos.

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“For somebody who grew up as a football fanatic, it’s an incredible feeling.”

He added: “Playing on a pitch with (Alessandro) Del Piero and (Clarence) Seedorf and all these incredible names – it’s guys I grew up watching in Champions League finals.”

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Speaking about his former career as a professional footballer, Compston admitted he still faces pressure from his home town and friends to perform well when playing for Soccer Aid.

“You’re terrified of going home and getting a slagging from your mates. People in Greenock, my home town, my pals, they’re pretty ruthless – they’ll let you know if you had a bad game,” he said.

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– Soccer Aid for Unicef 2022 takes place at the London Stadium on Sunday June 12, with tickets on sale now at https://www.socceraid.org.uk/tickets/