Chelcee Grimes reflects on Soccer Aid ‘history’ as game becomes female inclusive

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Chelcee Grimes is gearing up to take on the likes of Wayne Rooney, Jamie Redknapp and Olly Murs in Saturday night's Soccer Aid game in aid of UNICEF.

However, the singer and footballer, 29, revealed that while women are being included in the charity match, this wasn't always the case and she had dreamed of walking out wearing the Soccer Aid kit.

Speaking exclusively to Daily Star, Chelcee, from Aigburth, Liverpool, revealed that it was only two years ago that women first played in the charity match.

This, however, was just female professional footballers, with Chelcee becoming the first woman from the entertainment industry to play during the 2020 game.

The Mannequin songstress told us: "It was only two years ago women were allowed to play, I've watched Soccer Aid since I was a kid just imagining maybe one day I'd play there.

"But obviously when they did announce women playing two years ago, it was just England professionals so I didn't think there would ever be a chance for me but last year I was the first woman to play from entertainment, that was a bit of history.

"If I can go on and score, it would be magic, but as long as we win and raise loads of money, that's the main thing but on a personal note, it would be great to get a goal in."

Discussing playing at the Etihad, Chelcee explained: "I've been to the Etihad to watch Liverpool play but obviously playing there, it's different.

"I've played at Old Trafford, I've played at Anfield before and now I can put the Etihad in there, so it's not bad."

Nowadays, the football industry has changed for women, with the likes of Alex Scott paving the way for female footballers, inspiring the likes of Chelcee who plays for Merseyrail Ladies FC.

Discussing the change, she explained: "It's fantastic, I've played the game for 20 years now, I started playing for Liverpool when I was nine and we didn't even have matching kits back then.

"I've got a 12-year-old sister who plays football now, I sponsor her team and to go down and just see a sea of football pitches of young females playing the game, it's incredible, it's really emotional sometimes, I get a bit choked up.

"We have been pushing for women in sport, especially in football, even Alex Scott being announced as one of the first female voices on FIFA, it's just groundbreaking, so hopefully there will be more where that comes from."

Chelcee said: "She [Alex Scott] has been one of the trailblazers for people like me to go on to be in sport, make documentaries and be on Match of the Day X, she's a friend but I'm always inspired by Alex."

Ahead of tonight's match, Chelcee said it was "mental" to be taking on the likes of Wayne Rooney, who found fame playing for her rival club, Everton.

"Obviously being from Liverpool, he played for the wrong team but what a player, even the fact of Paul Scholes, Jamie Carragher, just these players I grew up watching them week in, week out, idolising and to be in the tunnel walking out and looking around, it's mental, it is a pinch yourself moment for me."

Soccer Aid airs tonight on ITV with kick-off scheduled for 7.30pm

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  • Wayne Rooney
  • Liverpool FC

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