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United legend Eric Cantona coming home to Old Trafford with Soccer Aid for Unicef

Manchester United legend Eric Cantona coming home to Old Trafford with Soccer Aid for Unicef (Photo courtesy: Unicef)

Manchester United legend Eric Cantona will make a stunning Old Trafford return on Sunday 10th June to take part in Soccer Aid for Unicef. Dubbed ‘The King’ by supporters, the five-time Premier League winner is set to retake his throne and team-up with Usain Bolt and the Soccer Aid World XI to take on Robbie Williams’ star-studded England side.

Eric Cantona said: “There is no place like home. Knowing I am coming back to Old Trafford is a special feeling and I am looking forward to seeing the stands full of familiar faces. My message is this: Soccer Aid for Unicef is a game like no other because of the support you give it. I am coming back to make the June 10th match the best ever and I want you to join me. Let’s make history together at Old Trafford again one last time.”

A Manchester United icon, the enigmatic Frenchman is revered as one of the finest players ever to wear a red shirt. He played nearly 150 times for the club scoring 82 goals in the process, winning two FA Cups and five league titles. His skill, swagger and upturned collar cemented his place in United folklore.

Cantona joins an impressive line-up of celebrities and former sportsmen already signed-up for Soccer Aid for Unicef this year, including: Robbie Williams, Usain Bolt, Sir Mo Farah, Gordon Ramsay, Olly Murs, Mark Wright, Brendan Cole, Joe Wicks, Clarence Seedorf, Robert Pirès, Yaya Tourè, Jaap Stam, Patrick Kluivert, Dan Carter, Edwin van der Sar, Kevin Pietersen, David Seaman, Phil Neville, Jamie Redknapp, Danny Murphy, Robbie Fowler, Michael Sheen and Ben Shephard.

JD, the global retailer of sports fashion, will be the official Event and Broadcast Partner of Soccer Aid for Unicef. The partnership follows on from JD’s support of Soccer Aid in 2016 and extends the association between the Undisputed King of Trainers and a key event in the football calendar. The world’s biggest pro-celebrity match is back and bigger than ever for 2018 with Usain Bolt’s World XI taking on Robbie Williams’ England. To date Soccer Aid for Unicef has raised over £24million for children’s charity Unicef UK in six matches over 12 years. The 2018 game marks the start of a new annual campaign which will be broadcast on ITV just days before the World Cup in Russia and again in 2019 and 2020.

Peter Cowgill, Executive Chairman of JD, said: “We are very proud to continue our association with Soccer Aid for Unicef into 2018. JD Sports has been an official supporter of the match in the past and we’re very pleased that the project continues to grow in stature. As the official Event and Broadcast Partner we look forward to having a positive impact on the project in the UK and around the world.”

The UK Government will match every £1 donated by the public through its UK Aid Match scheme, doubling the difference for children in danger around the world.

International Development Secretary, Penny Mordaunt, said: “We are excited to be involved once again this year in what promises to be the biggest Soccer Aid for Unicef to date. The UK government will match public donations pound-for-pound, meaning that, together, we can double the difference for children around the world.”

To date Soccer Aid for Unicef has raised over £24million for children’s charity Unicef UK in six matches over 12 years.

The 2018 game marks the start of a new annual campaign which will be broadcast on ITV just days before the World Cup in Russia and again in 2019 and 2020.

The international friendly match will take place at Old Trafford on Sunday 10th June, just four days before the FIFA World Cup in Russia begins. Tickets are on sale now and the game will be broadcast live on ITV. Kick-off is scheduled for 20:00 BST.

Soccer Aid for Unicef is the original England vs. Soccer Aid World XI charity match. It was launched and co-founded in 2006 by Unicef UK Ambassador Robbie Williams and Jonathan Wilkes and has previously featured A-list stars such as Will Ferrell, Woody Harrelson, Mike Myers and Niall Horan, plus footballing royalty including Maradona, Zinedine Zidane, Luis Figo and Ronaldinho.

Unicef, the world’s leading organisation for children, has joined forces with ITV to make the pro-celebrity football match bigger and better than ever, with more potential to raise money and vital support for children in danger. Soccer Aid for Unicef is produced by Initial, part of Endemol Shine UK, for ITV.

100% of all public donations to Soccer Aid for Unicef will be doubled by the UK government, up to a total of £5 million, and will go towards supporting the vital work protecting children around the world.

Swiss watchmaker Hublot and Global Sports Brand PUMA are Official Soccer Aid World XI Partners, with both brands acting as kit sponsors for the Soccer Aid World XI team.

Tickets for the Soccer Aid for Unicef football match on Sunday 10th June 2018 at Old Trafford are available now at www.manutd.com/socceraid or by calling 0161 444 2018 with tickets priced between £10 and £50.

Visit socceraid.org.uk to find out more and follow @SoccerAid on Twitter and Instagram, ‘Soccer Aid’ on Facebook and use the hashtag #SoccerAid for regular player and match updates.

To promote UK Aid Match, Soccer Aid for Unicef are challenging the public to take part in the Blindfold Keepy-Uppy Challenge. Join this year’s team in challenging yourself to do as many keepy-uppies as you can while blindfolded. Share a video of your keepy-uppy skills on social media, donate to Soccer Aid for Unicef and nominate a friend to join the challenge. Your donations will then be matched by the UK government.

(Unicef)