Wayne Rooney set to raise £10m for kids in his testimonial
Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney has been granted a testimonial at Old Trafford, with up to £10m raised from the match set to be donated to children's charities.
The kind-hearted United skipper has scored a stunning PR goal with his gesture to give up the profits from a match that will mark his 12 years of service to United.
The NSPCC, Alder Hey Hospital, Clare House Hospice and the Manchester United Foundation will benefit from the match, which will form a part of United's pre-season plans next summer.
“I would like to thank everyone involved in making this testimonial become a reality," stated Rooney.
“Most of all I want to thank the fans for all their incredible support for me and the team since I joined the club.
“The match night will obviously be special for me and my family but I hope it will be a night of celebration for all involved and that we can also deliver one or two surprises.
“Most of all I hope the fans will come out in force and help raise as much money as possible for these amazing charities, all of which are very close to my heart for different reasons.”
United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward also welcomed confirmation of the game that is certain to be a sell-out at Old Trafford.
“I am delighted that United fans will be able to celebrate Wayne’s amazing years at the club in this way," said Woodward.
"From his sensational debut hat-trick to the latest of his 236 goals, he has been a central figure in what has been one of the most successful periods in the club's history, winning everything from the Club World Cup, through the Champions League and League Cup to his five Premier League titles.
"Wayne has selected good causes very close to his heart and the club is delighted to play its part, in providing Old Trafford as a fitting stage for such a game."
Rooney's agent Paul Stretford also added his comments as he stated: "When I told Wayne that the a group of fans had come together to form a testimonial committee in his honour and had been granted the rights by the club he immediately insisted that all money raised should go to charities working for disadvantaged and sick children.
"I wasn't surprised because it is typical of Wayne as a man and as father.
"On Wayne's behalf we are now working hard to make the event a huge success, memorable for the fans, and creating real benefits for those who depend on Wayne's charities."
It will be intriguing to see what role Rooney's former manager Alex Ferguson (below on the day he signed Rooney in 2004) plays in the evening after their much-discussed fall-out, while former players already being contacted about making a return for the match.
Rooney will hope that his pulling power and the good causes that will benefit from the event could see the likes of David Beckham, Cristiano Ronaldo and Ryan Giggs strut their stuff on the Old Trafford pitch for one last time.