Soccer Aid 2023 lineups: Who is playing for England and World XI?

Celebrities and football legends will again be competing for a good cause when Soccer Aid returns tonight.

The charity exhibition match, which has been held since 2006, raises money and publicity for the international children’s charity Unicef.

A team of England legends and celebrities will take on a World XI.


The event was co-founded by Robbie Williams and his friend and television presenter Jonathan Wilkes, with both often donning their football boots to take part. In 2022, Williams instead sang his hit Angels at half-time of the match at West Ham’s London Stadium.

Soccer Aid has raised more than £75 million for Unicef since it started. It has become an annual event, having once been held every other year.

Who is playing in Soccer Aid 2023?

Stormzy has been confirmed as England manager, in an announcement made on Good Morning Britain on Thursday (May 11).

In a clip revealing himself as manager, the 29-year-old rapper said: “I’m not even a musician that day. I’ll take ‘gaffer’, ‘boss’, err what else do they call the gaffer?

“This is an opportunity to show the world my football mind.”

Jill Scott, heroine of the England Lioness team that won the Euro 2022 competition, will captain the home side. She enjoyed further success when she won the ITV reality show I’m a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here! in December.

"The Euros, the jungle and now Soccer Aid for Unicef — it’s the holy trinity,” she said. “I’ve won two of them, so I just need Soccer Aid now to complete the treble.”

Jill Scott will be the first female captain for England at Soccer Aid (PA)
Jill Scott will be the first female captain for England at Soccer Aid (PA)

Scott will be the first female captain of the England side.

She will be joined in the team by former England players Karen Carney, Jack Wilshere, Gary Cahill, Jermain Defoe, David James, Gary Neville, Paul Scholes and Eni Aluko.

Long-distance running legend Sir Mo Farah has also been confirmed to play for England, as have singer Tom Grennan and DJ Joel Corry. Television presenter Alex Brooker, and YouTuber Chunkz will also play for England.

The team will be co-managed by Chelsea Women’s manager Emma Hayes and Line of Duty’s Vicky McClure.

The former Tottenham and Republic of Ireland striker, Robbie Keane, will manage the Rest of the World Side. Usain Bolt will be the captain, as he has been in previous years.

Confirmed players for the Rest of the World so far include comedian Lee Mack, entrepreneur and Dragons’ Den star, Steven Bartlett, and winner of the season three of Love Island, Kem Cetinay.


Soccer Aid starting lineups

England XI: David James; Gary Neville, Gary Cahill, Bugzy Malone; Joel Corey, Jill Scott, Jack Wilshere, Tom Hiddlestone; Liam Payne, Jermain Defoe, Tom Grennan

Subs: Paddy McGuinness, Michael Dawson, Paul Scholes, Eni Eluko, Karen Carney, Alex Brooker, Chunkz, Sir Mo Farah, Asa Butterfield, Scarlette Douglas, Danny Dyer

World XI: Ben Foster; Heather O'Reilly, Sam Clafin, Roberto Carlos; Mo Gilligan; Noah Beck, Patrice Evra; Masie Adam, Usain Bolt, Francesco Totti, Hernan Crespo

Subs: Leon Edwards, Nani, Darren Fletcher, Kaylyn Kyle, Izzy Christiansen, Robbie Keane, Lee Mack, Tommmy Fury, Niko Omilana, Kem Cetinay

Soccer Aid squads in full


  • Paddy McGuinness

  • Jermain Defoe

  • Karen Carney

  • Gary Cahill

  • Jack Wilshere

  • Bugzy Malone

  • Tom Grennan

  • Mo Farah

  • Alex Brooker

  • Gary Neville

  • Paul Scholes

  • Chunkz

  • Joel Corry

  • Eni Aluko

  • David James

  • Scarlette Douglas

  • Nicky Butt

  • Liam Payne

  • Danny Dyer

  • Asa Butterfield

  • Tom Hiddleston


World XI

  • Lee Mack

  • Steven Bartlett

  • Kem Cetinay

  • Mo Gilligan

  • Maisie Adam

  • Tommy Fury

  • Heather O’Reilly

  • Kaylyn Kyle

  • Noah Beck

  • Ben Foster

  • Roberto Carlos

  • Nani

  • Francesco Totti

  • Gabriel Batistuta

  • Leon Edwards

  • Sam Claflin

  • Hernan Crespo

  • Patrice Evra

  • Niko

Will Robbie Williams sing at Soccer Aid 2023?

Robbie Williams performs in November 2022 (Getty Images)
Robbie Williams performs in November 2022 (Getty Images)

Football-mad Williams is currently touring with his 2022 album XV. This features orchestral versions of his greatest hits from his 25-year solo career.

He is set to perform in Romania on June 3 and Spain on June 15, which could leave a convenient gap for him to appear at Soccer Aid.

His participation has not been confirmed, however. Yet, as he has been so integral to Soccer Aid, it would be a surprise to fans if he were not to appear in some capacity.