What a match Soccer Aid 2016 turned out to be! Sure as shootin’, England came ready to play, with energy, enthusiasm, and most of all, a truly united front. With the Rest of the World, they 1) raised a tidy sum for UNICEF, a wonderful cause helping children all over the world and 2) Gave us a beauty of a show over a muggy evening at the Old Trafford in Manchester.
The three of us, Damianista, myself and TBkWrm, all on separate continents at the moment, miraculously managed to meet up and ‘watch’ together. TBkWrm is already there in the same time zone, sporting her Rest of the World hat, so we knew she’d get to watch. As for me, by sheer dumb luck, I happened upon a live stream and darn near bust a hole in my hardwood floor jumping up and down at the OMG of getting to watch live. Damianista didn’t get to watch exactly, but did happily read along to our play by play, some of which I’ll transcribe for you now. Let’s look together at some highlights of the match, shall we? Oh, and, England took away the trophy, 3 – 2, just so you know. 🙂
In an earlier post we’ve seen some shots of Damian at practice, yucking it up with the boys, as well as his history with this event through the years. This year, we have a 45 year old actor playing among guys half his age, some of them professional footballers. (I think they said the median age for both teams was ~33)
Towards the end of the first half with ROW up by a point and Damian nowhere near the field, I started to worry that we may not see him play. Up to that point, I’d been happily enjoying the game. Don’t get to watch footie often, and whenever I have watched, it’s been a fun and intense 90 minutes spent. Olly Murs was especially impressive in the early plays, nearly getting a goal like 6 or 7 times, literally missing some by inches. He really wanted to be the sixth celebrity ever to score in a Soccer Aid, but that honor ultimately went to Mark Wright who scored England’s first goal. (The other two points came from pro Sunderlander Jermain Defoe)
England were owning the field from the start, so I didn’t get worried over not seeing Damian play until ROW scored one. Worries were for naught, of course. Damian Lewis NOT playing was never an option for this team. Once he came on field (at ~70 min), substituting in for Murs, no less, and taking over the midfielder position like he plays it every day, as natural as could be, it was impossible to tear oneself away from the screen.
'How does it feel to be the best midfielder in the world?'
Zizou: 'I don't know ask Damian Lewis'
— UNILAD Football (@UNILADFooty) June 5, 2016
Now, for some of our near play by play convo with a view into Damian’s best moves.
JaniaJania: Here we go!
— Damian Lewis (@lewis_damian) June 5, 2016
JaniaJania: He’s getting an onslaught of tweens tweeting him back b/c of who he’s standing with 😂😂😂
TBkWrm: He won’t know what has hit him. 😂
TBkWrm: Louis played a charity game at Celtic Park last year (not soccer aid) and ended up being sick at the side of the park.
TBkWrm: Cheered by the girl teenyboppers and booed by the boy teenyboppers…and all the dads.
TBkWrm: Decided to try and even some of those tweets out. Probably get some teenagers taking it too seriously. Should have seen the twitter abuse Celtic fans took from 1D fans for the pantomime booing of Louis at Celtic Park last year.
JaniaJania: Wow, yes, I can see the teenagers getting a little emotional over such things. Two 1Ders playing against each other only adds to the drama.
JaniaJania: Whereas some of the older generation is having a grand old time with this. One guy replied to Damian “my wife has left me mate”. So funny! 😀😀😀
TBkWrm: Funny that the two famous footballers in that picture aren’t getting a mention.
JaniaJania: Right? I think that was Damian’s intent with the tweet. For us to identify the real footballers in the pic. Do that! (i don’t know them!) 😀😀😀
TBkWrm: The two on either side of Damian’s left arm are two former Liverpool players. The one on the left of his arm is Jamie Carragher and the other is Robbie Fowler or as Liverpool fans called him ‘God’.
Damianista: Do it!!! ❤❤❤
Damianista: Then lets add it to the post ❤❤❤
TBkWrm: Done 😀
— LM (@TBkWrm) June 5, 2016
Damianista: OMG he should be really high now with those Liverpool idols!!! 😀😀😀
TBkWrm: Carragher won the European Cup with Liverpool in 2005. Vice Captain to Gerrard.
Damianista: Did the match start?
Damianista: Are you watching Laura?
TBkWrm: Kick off at 8.
TBkWrm: Yes…with my rest of the world hat on+ 😂😉🏟🚩
Damianista: Traitor!!!! 😂😂😂
Damianista: Let us know how Damian plays! 💋
Damianista: What if he scores? 😄
Damianista: Will you take off your hat? 😀😀😀
TBkWrm: Hat staying on ❤ but I will cheer for him.
JaniaJania: Omg, just found it streaming!!
TBkWrm: Woo hoo
Damianista: Enjoy it – beautiful!!!!! ❤
JaniaJania: Cross fingers it lasts! Got it up on the big screen too. Afternoon sorted!!!
JaniaJania: Can’t believe I’m getting to watch this! Someone pinch me!
JaniaJania: Ooo, nearly a goal for England, so close!
TBkWrm: Just donated 😀
JaniaJania: Again…wow England wants this bad!
JaniaJania: Miurs wants to be the seventh celebrity to ever score a goal in this 👍👍👍
JaniaJania: Will be giving later online if I can. This is a brilliant game and cause.
JaniaJania: Ollie Murs is really good!!
TBkWrm: A team with David’s and Ronaldinho should be doing better. Come on rest of the world. Plating like Scotland just now!
TBkWrm: …maybe it is the blue strip. hmm…
JaniaJania: The guy from Glee is one of the starters for ROW
JaniaJania: Right? Seems they’re saving themselves for later …
JaniaJania: Getting England’s hopes up until they come in for the kill later
JaniaJania: England are the underdogs…and they’re killing it so far ❤❤❤
JaniaJania: Murs again!!!! Lip read his “Fuck all!!!” Matter of time for this kid
JaniaJania: Gah, what’s that, the fifth near-goal for England?
JaniaJania: OMG!!! Someone move the post for Murs please. Just an inch!!!
TBkWrm: He has been very good and very unlucky.
JaniaJania: Gotta look him up after this.
TBkWrm: Was racking my brains trying to remember who Jonathan Wilkes is.
TBkWrm: He is Robbie Williams best friend who helped Robbie through the tough times.
JaniaJania: He’s strong too. I’ll be going on a research binge after this.
TBkWrm: Murs is a singer. Won X factor or BGT can’t remember which.
JaniaJania: Ah, wow, a singer who can play like this? Sweet!!
Damianista: Hahaha I will watch the game thru your messages after I am done with this exhibit on naughty pre Columbian cultures!!! 😜
TBkWrm: England may rue those missed chances.
JaniaJania: Just missed Damian’s bit in the UNICEF message. Phone call interruption. Reminding myself to look for it later.
JaniaJania: They’ve had the same tweet up about Niall and Louis on the bench for hours. Our guy’s not on field but I’m still watching the game. Silly girls!!!
(Of course a cute stagey pic like this doesn’t do much to put our respective fangrl’s minds at ease. Were these two white jerseys meant to remain pristine and unworn?)
— Updates (@OT4WWUpdates) June 5, 2016
JaniaJania: England is playing really really well. And they’re raising a bunch of money, so nothing to regret 😍😍😍
TBkWrm: It is all happening now.
TBkWrm: England scored. Offside.
TBkWrm: England scored again. Offside because Defoe insisted on touching it. If he had left it,it would have counted.
TBkWrm: England then took the lead, got a man sent off and Rest of the world just equalised.
JaniaJania: Went 1-1 while I was making lunch 😀😀
TBkWrm: Penalty to rest of the world.
TBkWrm: Scored. 2-1 Roth.
JaniaJania: Wait you’re ahead of the stream!
JaniaJania: 2-1 Blah.
JaniaJania: Starting to wonder if Damian will even play
TBkWrm: He might get the last 15 minutes or so
JaniaJania: Fingers crossed!
TBkWrm: England equalise.
TBkWrm: Here he comes.
TBkWrm: On for Murrs!
TBkWrm: Billions getting a mention…and Homeland
TBkWrm: Damian just won England a corner.
JaniaJania: Hubbie came home early with an injury…didn’t get to do the rest of his climb today.
TBkWrm: He going to be OK?
TBkWrm: Won England another corner.
JaniaJania: Now Damian’s in, I’m having to multitask
(Quick aside, hubbie was on a mountaineering trek over the weekend, was supposed to be gone till late Sunday, had a run-in with a boulder and had to cut the trip short…he’s scratched up and very sore but will be fine. Believe me, the confluence of all the talk of hamstring wear and tear is not lost on me. Fun thing, when he came home, saw Damian on the TV screen, naturally, he asked if I was watching a movie. No, I said, that’s him actually playing a real game! Live!)
TBkWrm: silky skills from Damian there. ❤
JaniaJania: Aw, gorgeous !!! What an assist !
(Damian’s “silky skills”, here, are a sprint past two guys in blue and a brilliant turn. Seemed quite fancy and ROW seemed to have a clear absense of defense in this sequence. Learned later from this tweet and from Damianista that the turn actually has a name and a history.
— Darren Jakeman (@DarrenAFCTU) June 5, 2016
And, immediately after that turn, Damian kicked the ball right past a line full of blue jerseys to get it to Whitehall who just barely missed the goal. Woulda been such a sweet assist!!)
TBkWrm: Defoe again for England.
JaniaJania: Hasn’t even broken a sweat yet. Fit!
JaniaJania: The 1D guy went in from ROW
(Mark Wright cleared one right to the back corner.)
JaniaJania: ROW changing up their guys
TBkWrm: Damian playing well.
Damianista: I think you should turn this thread into a post. This will be me watching the game. You guys ROCK! ❤❤❤
TBkWrm: He has a decent burst of pace.
JaniaJania: Other 1D guy in now
JaniaJania: Damian is FIT!!!
TBkWrm: Damian nearly set another one up. He has done well.
(This time the near assist was to Defoe.)
JaniaJania: Yes, this as a post!
Damianista: And you should say you made your poor friend who is on another continent enjoy the game thru your posts on whatsapp!!! Thank you!!!! ❤❤❤❤❤❤
TBkWrm: He is showing off now. He has switched wings now.
TBkWrm: Had a chance to score there!
TBkWrm: Full time. England win 3-2.
JaniaJania: England for the match!
JaniaJania: Came so close to scoring. Had great couple of assists too. Not just a pretty face on that field that’s for sure. Among many pretty faces. Great match!
TBkWrm: Prettiest face of the lot…don’t care what the screaming teenyboppers say 😂😀❤
Damianista: Very cool!!!
JaniaJania: Abso-freakin-lutely. So-called old men on the field played rings around the kids.
TBkWrm: Just tweeted Celtic official account asking if we can sign Damian 😂
JaniaJania: Haha! Brilliant 😀
Boys with champagne:
Boys in suits:
This is it!! pic.twitter.com/MYr39ZYKM5
— Damian Lewis (@lewis_damian) June 5, 2016
And this breaking news 🙂
— Rick Oliver (@RigadonRick) June 5, 2016