Wayne Rooney coming out of retirement to play for England team at Soccer Aid 2021

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Wayne Rooney coached the England team at Soccer Aid last year (Manchester United via Getty Images)
Wayne Rooney coached the England team at Soccer Aid last year (Manchester United via Getty Images)

Wayne Rooney is set to temporarily come out of retirement to play for an England team at Soccer Aid this year.

Manchester United and England’s record goalscorer initially hung up his boots in January as he was appointed the permanent manager at Derby County, whom he guided to Championship survival on a dramatic final day of the season.

But Rooney will now play for the England team in the 2021 edition of annual charity match Soccer Aid, which raises funds for UNICEF.

The 35-year-old - who coached at the last Soccer Aid at Old Trafford - will reunite with former team-mates Gary Neville and Paul Scholes in a team managed by David Seaman, with the likes of Micah Richards, Ashley Cole, David James, Emile Heskey and Jamie Redknapp also signing up as well as England Women legends Fara Williams and Kelly Smith.

James Arthur, Tom Grennan, Olly Murs, Mark Wright, Paddy McGuinness, Ore Oduba, Kem Cetinay, Liv Cooke, Roman Kemp and Chunkz are among the celebrities taking part, with Roberto Carlos and Patrice Evra confirmed for Harry Redknapp’s World XI that also includes retired sprinting icon Usain Bolt.

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“Pulling on an England shirt is always special, so I’m absolutely delighted to be doing that again in Soccer Aid for Unicef,” said Rooney.

“Managing the England team last year was great but being around the players made me want to lace up the boots again - now I’ve got that chance, one last time.”

The 10th edition of Soccer Aid takes place on Saturday, September 4 at a new venue - Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium.

New Football Focus host Alex Scott will serve as a pitchside reporter at the match, with Dermot O’Leary fronting the TV coverage and Maya Jama reprising her role as a pundit.

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