‘Gaffer’ Stormzy makes his Soccer Aid managing debut

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British musician Stormzy will make his Soccer Aid debut when he steps on to the pitch as the manager of the England side, it has been announced.

The Vossi Bop singer, 29, and Manchester United fan will be assisted by former Spurs boss Harry Redknapp, Chelsea women boss Emma Hayes and Line Of Duty star Vicky McClure, who are all part of the England management team for the charity event.

Stormzy said: “I’m a massive football fan, so getting a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to manage England is a dream come true. The fact it’s at Old Trafford, and I’m a Manchester United fan, makes it extra special.

The Brit Awards 2023 – Arrivals – London
Stormzy is a huge football fan (Ian West/PA)

“I like to explore opportunities outside of music and when this one came across my desk I was delighted. This is an opportunity to show the world my football mind!

“I’m taking this really seriously. I don’t want the players saying they loved my last album – seriously, it’s just about winning the game for me. I’ll put the fire in them. They need to call me ‘boss’ or ‘gaffer’, though – not Mike!”

The grime star added: “If I could pick any player to play for me it would be Wayne Rooney, all day long – it would be an honour to manage him.

Blackpool v Derby County – Sky Bet Championship – Bloomfield Road
Stormzy said it would be a dream to manage Derby County manager Wayne Rooney (Martin Rickett/PA)

The Unicef charity event, being held on June 11 at Old Trafford, will also see former footballer and West Ham FC Academy coach, Zavon Hines, who is also a friend of Stormzy’s, providing guidance from the dugout.

Previously announced names for the Unicef England squad include Sir Mo Farah, former England footballer Jill Scott, who will captain the side, TV presenter Paddy McGuinness, singer Tom Grennan, singer Liam Payne and former footballer turned pundit Gary Neville.

The England team will face the World XI FC team, which will be captained by Olympic sprint champion Usain Bolt and has boxer and Love Island star Tommy Fury, comedian Lee Mack, TV presenter Mo Gilligan and reality TV star Kem Cetinay among its line-up.

Martin Compston and Robbie Keane are both part of the World XI Management Team, with more managerial signings to be announced.

The line-up of neither team is complete, with more names expected to still be announced.

Soccer Aid for Unicef 2023 takes place on Sunday 11th June at Manchester United’s Old Trafford.

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