Ore Oduba has said he is “excited and properly terrified in equal measure” to be returning to the pitch for this year’s Soccer Aid.
The annual charity match, which raises money for Unicef, sees England take on the rest of the world, with a live show hosted by Dermot O’Leary and Alex Scott on ITV.
TV star Oduba was part of last year’s World XI team who retained the trophy as they triumphed over the England squad.
He told PA news agency: “I just want one picture of me, like, basically one picture of me in the air, flying in goal somewhere.
“And I just want that to be the picture I can tell my kids and grandkids about – it doesn’t matter if that was the moment a goal went past me and we lost horrendously. I just want the picture to be able to take home and go ‘Guys, kids, your dad once played in Soccer Aid and I saved some goals against Wayne Rooney’. They don’t need to know that he scored a hat-trick, I will tell the story however I need to…”
Rooney will come out of retirement to play for England this year after managing the side for Soccer Aid in 2020.
Other celebrities taking part this year include singers James Arthur and Olly Murs, and TV presenter Paddy McGuinness. They will be joined by reality star Mark Wright, Love Island’s Kem Cetinay, radio star Roman Kemp and musician Chunkz, while Maya Jama returns as a pundit.
Footballers Fara Williams, Micah Richards, Gary Neville and Paul Scholes will also take part, with this year’s match taking place at Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium for the first time.
Former Strictly Come Dancing champion Oduba will also be taking to the stage in the coming weeks to play Brad Majors in a UK tour of The Rocky Horror Show.
He said: “I was really nervous about getting back into rehearsal, for a number of reasons. After a year and a bit of not having sung, I think everybody kind of has that anxiety, they’ve forgotten how to do their job… (I was worried) I’d forgotten how to sing, I’ll open my mouth and just silence will come out…”
“But this is the amazing thing about a rehearsal space, is that we so quickly… everybody just gets on the same wavelength and we just want to put on the best show possible.”
The TV star and his wife Portia announced in May that they are expecting their second child.
Since Soccer Air was founded in 2006, it has raised more than £47 million to help children all over the world.
– Soccer Aid for Unicef 2021 takes place on September 4 at the Etihad Stadium. Tickets are available at https://www.socceraid.org.uk/ticket-pricing/