Derby County manager Wayne Rooney is to dust off his boots later this year and play in the popular charity football match Soccer Aid.

Rooney, who is 35, is due to play in the 2021 edition of the game on Saturday 4th September at Manchester City's Etihad Stadium to raise money once again for UNICEF.

The Derby boss, who is England’s all-time leading goalscorer with 53 goals, will turn out for the Three Lions against a World XI at the home of the recently crowned Premier League champions.

He hung up his boots in January of this year to focus on management after taking up his position with the Rams on a full-time basis, with his last career appearance coming in November 2020.

Rooney was part of the England coaching team in the 2020 match, while he was still a player with Derby, as a record £9.3million was raised for the charity.

Rooney said: “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.

“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.

“Soccer Aid for UNICEF has been a massive force for good since it started back in 2006 and I know the public will support us again this year by purchasing tickets, which are now on sale.”

The likes of former England international players Paul Scholes, Gary Neville, Jamie Redknapp, David James, Ashley Cole, Emile Heskey and Kelly Smith will feature in this year’s event alongside several celebrities and stars.

Jamaican sprint legend Usain Bolt is signed up to the World XI team, along with former Brazil international Roberto Carlos and former France full-back Patrice Evra.


Created by Robbie Williams in 2006, Soccer Aid for UNICEF is the world’s biggest celebrity-charity football match, raising money to give kids the best start in life. Once a year, England take on their opponents, the Soccer Aid World XI FC. Supported by passionate fans in an iconic stadium and broadcast live on ITV and STV, the event harnesses the power of football to help make sure that children can grow up happy, healthy and able to play.

This year will be the tenth Soccer Aid and at will be played at a new host venue for 2021, Manchester City’s spectacular Etihad Stadium on Saturday 4th September 2021.


The money raised from this year’s game could help UNICEF fight back against COVID-19, for every child, everywhere.

COVID-19 continues to devastate children’s lives around the world. It’s the biggest global crisis since World War Two and it’s left more children at greater risk than ever before. Shutting down their schools. Overwhelming healthcare services they rely on. Destroying their families’ livelihoods. Disrupting medical and food supplies and pushing millions more children into hunger.

Children worldwide won’t be safe until everyone they rely on is safe. So in 2021, Soccer Aid for UNICEF is fighting back.

Together we could help UNICEF deliver 2 billion vaccines for frontline health workers and teachers – the people children rely on the most. And help kids worldwide get back to school, beat malnutrition, and get the healthcare they need today and long after the crisis is over.


Want to know more about Soccer Aid? Their website is