Global music icon Sir Rod Stewart has been announced as the official patron for Football For Change.
The star has given his full backing to the social mobility initiative which was launched in 2020 by Trent Alexander-Arnold, Jamie Carragher, Conor Coady and a host of other football names.
“The power of football to break down barriers and bring people together is exemplified through Football For Change,” Sir Rod Stewart said.
“This initiative has united some of the world’s biggest football names, celebrities and business leaders into a unique and powerful collaboration to change lives.
“Everyone involved, including myself, are bound together by a collective goal to give young people from communities affected by poverty and deprivation, the chance to build brighter futures. I am proud to be its patron.
“Massive credit to Jamie Carragher, Conor Coady and Trent Alexander-Arnold for launching this. What fantastic role models.”
Football For Change has been backed by Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard and a string of other big football names including Borussia Dortmund star Jude Bellingham, Tottenham striker Lucas Moura, Leeds United midfielder Jack Harrison, Everton talisman Dominic Calvert-Lewin plus Match Of The Day presenter Gary Lineker and Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville.
In November last year, the charity held its inaugural gala dinner – attended by Sir Rod Stewart and a host of other stars including Pixie Lott – which raised £250,000 to support disadvantaged young people among our communities who face barriers unlocking their full potential. In March, hosted by presenter Alistair Campbell, the Football For Change Chairman’s Lunch raised a further £100,000 for the charity as BRIT-nominated Tom Grennan performed too.
Co-chair of the initiative Carragher said: “To have Sir Rod Stewart involved in Football For Change is absolutely incredible. He already does amazing work with the Celtic Foundation and I have no doubt that will only continue with our charity to support disadvantaged young people across the UK.
“I am honoured he is our patron. It will help us drive Football For Change to new levels and help even more youngsters who face serious barriers to unlocking their full potential.”
Sponsored by Swinton Insurance, Football For Change will distribute grants to organisations supporting young people in the most deprived areas of the country, with a focus on helping them into education, employment and training.
Swinton CEO and co-chair Ian Donaldson added: “What a privilege it is to have a legend like Sir Rod Stewart involved with our incredible charity, which is already doing phenomenal work with young people across the country – most recently having sent 40 young people for a life-changing and month-long educational and sports trip to Dallas, many of whom had never been out of their own communities before let alone the country.
“The music maestro that is Sir Rod, who entertained us spectacularly at our inaugural gala dinner in Liverpool last year, is an absolute star and genuinely wants to help these young people who need it most. We are all very grateful.”