Jose Mourinho takes a back seat as Big Sam leads England to Soccer Aid success

New Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho took a back seat as Sunderland boss Sam Allardyce led England to victory in a star-studded Soccer Aid match.

Monday, 6th June 2016, 10:34 am
Updated Monday, 6th June 2016, 11:43 am
Sam Allardyce encourages his England team on from the stands in last night's Soccer Aid charity game at Old Trafford.

The Special One, who was unveiled as the new man in charge at Old Trafford last week, oversaw his first 'home victory' in last night's charity game.

But he left his team under the touchline command of Big Sam and pop star Robbie Williams, who plotted a 3-2 comeback win over the Rest of the World (RoW) team.

Sam Allardyce poses for a selfie on the pitch with Bradley Walsh before the Soccer Aid match.

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The biennial match features celebrities who wish they had grown up to be footballers and ex-pros whose best days are behind them.

It 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.

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

Sam Allardyce acknowledges the crowd before the Soccer Aid game at Old Trafford.

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.

Sam Allardyce poses for a selfie on the pitch with Bradley Walsh before the Soccer Aid match.

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 Sunderland striker 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."

Sam Allardyce acknowledges the crowd before the Soccer Aid game at Old Trafford.

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