Bugzy Malone said he has been “looking to do this my whole life” ahead of making his Soccer Aid debut later this year.
The Manchester-born rapper, whose real name is Aaron Davies, is set to take part in the charity football match alongside a variety of famous faces including fellow debutants Jill Scott and Joel Corry.
Speaking to the PA news agency, Malone said: “The whole thing is just a great honour to be involved with, doing things to help the kids, being involved with professional football players, playing in a stadium, it’s hard to actually put into words how excited I am.”
Malone, 32, will play as part of the England team, captained by Lioness Scott, which will take on World XI FC, headed up by Usain Bolt, at Old Trafford in June.
Malone said “the stakes are high” given the match will be played in his home city, but explained he is ready to take on the challenge: “I just realised I’ve been looking to do this my whole life. I’m just excited to get on the pitch in a proper football kit and proper football boots, against proper players, and see how it goes.”
The grime artist, who was seriously injured in a motorcycle crash in 2020, also said he was looking forward to a physical challenge after recovering from the incident and revealed he has plans to train with fellow Soccer Aid player Tom Grennan.
“I’ve heard a few names that I’m excited about bumping into, especially Tom Grennan,” Malone said.
“He’s one of my friends, I made a song with him and I’ve heard he’s good at football. I’m going to try and train with him when I get the chance.”
Malone also made it clear that he plans to help the England team to victory, despite the team having lost to World XI FC every year since 2018.
“I’m not just coming here to run up and down the pitch, I’m going to contribute in winning the game,” he said.
He jokingly added: “I hear that we’ve lost in past matches. I’m extremely disappointed in the boys and I’m coming here to spice things up!”
Soccer Aid, co-founded by pop star Robbie Williams in 2006, raises money for humanitarian aid organisation Unicef to help children in need around the world.
The charity match is back at Manchester United’s Old Trafford on June 11 and will be broadcast on ITV1, STV and ITVX with Dermot O’Leary on hosting duties.
A family of four can attend the game for just £60 – buy your tickets at socceraid.org.uk/tickets.