Tuesday 24 April 2018

Video: Wayne Rooney sings 'Hold Back The River' with James Bay during Euro 2016 charity gig

Wayne Rooney performing 'Hold Back the River' with the singer, James Bay CREDIT: GETTY
Wayne Rooney performing 'Hold Back the River' with the singer, James Bay CREDIT: GETTY


England’s Euro 2016 preparation took a slightly unusual turn on Sunday evening, as Wayne Rooney joined singer-songwriter James Bay on stage for a singalong at a charity dinner – complete with assistant manager Gary Neville on guitar and a bemused Pele watching on from the front row.

Rooney grabbed the mic to accompany Bay during a rendition of his top ten hit Hold Back the River, with the entire England squad present to watch their captain's moment in the spotlight.

The unusual musical performance came during the England Footballers Foundation event at the Sopwell House hotel, in St Albans.

The event was hosted by the comedian Jack Whitehall, and attended by England stars including Jamie Vardy, Daniel Sturridge and teenage starlet Marcus Rashford, as well as the legendary Brazilian footballer Pele.

Although quite what the 75-year-old made of Rooney’s impromptu singing performance is anybody’s guess, with the England captain accompanying Bay on stage for a rendition of his top ten hit Hold Back the River.

Gary Neville’s budding musical talents are well known – the former Manchester United defender hit the headlines last year when famous City fan Noel Gallagher sprawled anti-United graffiti on one of his guitars – and he happily joined Rooney and Bay on stage for the performance.

It is not the first time that Bay and Rooney have been spotted enjoying some down time together, with the pop star spotted with an injured Rooney in the stands at Old Trafford watching United’s 1-0 win against Everton at the beginning of April. 

The dinner – as well as evening's entertainment – was arranged by the England Footballers Foundation, an organisation set up in 2007 to allow England internationals to donate their match fees to charitable causes.

Over the past seven years, the Foundation has supported a number of good causes, including The Bobby Moore Fund for Cancer Research UK, Help for Heroes, and The PFA’s charitable initiatives, among others.

As well as raising funds, the Foundations also sees England players attending a series of events to put a smile on people’s faces, as well as raising awareness of certain causes.

The entire England squad was present at the event meaning that there were no selection clues offered to Roy Hodgson’s final 23-man squad for Euro 2016, which will be announced tomorrow. 


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