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Tuesday 20 August 2019

Michael Sheen reveals he ‘put it all on the line’ for Homeless World Cup

The Hollywood actor made a substantial financial donation to ensure the event went ahead.

Michael Sheen (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)
Michael Sheen (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

By Alex Green, PA Entertainment Reporter

Michael Sheen has revealed that he made a substantial financial donation to the Homeless World Cup to ensure it went ahead.

The Welsh actor, who was instrumental in bringing the annual event to Cardiff, said he “put it all on the line” after funding fell short.

The Hollywood star, 50, told BBC Radio 5 Live’s Nihal Arthanayake he had been warned by those close to him not to put his own money into the event.

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Michael Sheen speaks at the opening of the 2019 Homeless World Cup in Cardiff (Max McLean/PA)

However, he said he felt he could not let down the 500 people who had signed up to “have their lives changed”.

The competition – which runs until August 3 – sees people who have experienced social exclusion such as homelessness represent their countries in 4 v 4 games.

The Good Omens star, a long-time supporter of the event, hinted the donation had been so large he would have to increase the amount of work he took in the future.

He said: “We had a bit of a shocker a few months ago where things went awry and it looked like this might not happen.

“And so that is why I am so excited and relieved that we are here, it is happening and it’s going so brilliantly – because we couldn’t say that because it would have frightened people.

“A few months back we got into a bit of a state so I essentially put everything I have into this.

“And I haven’t told anybody that before. This is an exclusive. I put it all on the line to make sure that this could happen.”

Wales are one of almost 50 nations taking part in the week-long event which will see around 500 men and women competing and socialising.

Sheen said the Homeless World Cup’s financial troubles had offered him a chance to take real action.

“You either commit to this stuff or you don’t,” he said.

“I was sick of just saying stuff or hearing people say stuff and they’re not prepared to go all the way with it. I have the opportunity to earn money… for now.

“At this point I can work as much as I want, I can earn good money. I figured, if I’m not prepared to give it all away then what am I doing? I’m just a hypocrite. It’s pointless. You have to put it all on the line.”

PA Media

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