Sunday 17 February 2019

Video: Niall Horan lifted head over heels by Big Sam ahead of Soccer Aid charity game

Only going to be one winner here
Only going to be one winner here

Pat Hurst

Jose Mourinho oversaw his first home victory at Old Trafford from the stands as England claimed the spoils in Sunday's star-studded Soccer Aid charity match.

The Special One took a backseat, watching as his charges under the touchline command of Sam Allardyce and Robbie Williams, plotted a 3-2 comeback win over the Rest of the World (RoW) team.

The biennial match features celebrities who wish they had grown up to be footballers and former football stars whose best days are behind them, and raises cash for Unicef aid, paying for food, medicine and clean water for the world's poorest and most vulnerable children.

This year's line-ups saw England's One Direction star Louis Tomlinson matched against bandmate Niall Horan, who was billed as assistant manager for the RoW, alongside Leicester City's Premier League winner Claudio Ranieri.

Horan had a funny exchange with Allardyce ahead of the game. The Sunderland boss lifted the singer up head over heels and spanked him on the bum.

Watch below:

Other players wearing the Three Lions shirt included Mark Wright, Marvin Humes and Paddy McGuinness while Michael Sheen, Matthew Morrison,  AP McCoy and Game of Thrones star Iwan Rheon turned out for the RoW.

And it was Towie star Wright, a former non-league player, who opened the scoring, with a 25 yard left-foot scorcher past Patrick Kielty on 50 minutes.

But in true England style minutes later they were down to 10 men.

Referee Jon Moss showed little charity spirit as he produced a second yellow for Good Morning Britain presenter Ben Shephard, who took an early bath after another clumsy challenge.

Seconds later former Manchester Utd striker Dimitar Berbatov, pounced to even the score past Jamie Theakston.

And it went from bad to worse as Bolton funnyman McGuinness brought down Brazil legend Ronaldinho for a penalty converted by Berbatov to make it 1-2.

But England roared back with a double-strike from Jermain Defoe, the first on 65 minutes, followed a raking pass from comedian and actor Jack Whitehall before slotting a second 12 minutes later to the delight of the 70,000 or so inside Old Trafford.

After the game Williams, the brains behind Soccer Aid, said: "I went to the loo and got ready to go on and I came on the pitch thinking it was 2-2 and the whistle blew at the end and I didn't know we had won!"

Wright, who won man of the match added: "I have got to pinch myself. I can't even explain the feeling."

The match saw more than £5.3 million pledged to the cause.

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