The singer – who is suffering from a back injury- is thought to be too fragile to play in the match against the likes of Gordon Ramsey, James McAvoy and Patrick Kielty who will be playing in the Rest Of the World team. So instead Robbie Williams has been drafted in as assistant manager of the Soccer Aid England team.
He explains: “I can’t get the insurance to play because I’m in the middle of a tour. We just came in from Zurich and if I do the back in out on the pitch, the tour goes kaput and I’ll have to sell either Ayda or Teddy. And I’ll miss Ayda.”
“I’ve got two discs rubbing together on my back,” he reveals. “My body is going: You’re 40, and this is what’s happening.’ “When you were 18/19 you didn’t care, and you were going to do it anyway you say, ‘I’m never going to get old’.
“Well, I’m there now. My body is knackered”
“But the spirit is still the same and the reason why I’m here is still the same.”
The annual match, taking place on Sunday at Man United’s Old Trafford stadium, raises money for the charity UNICEF, of which Rob is an ambassador.
Robbie is said to be gutted that he won’t be playing at the match on Sunday but will be supporting the team.