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22 Aug 2019 15:46
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  •   Home > News > Entertainment

    Michael Sheen risked his career for a game of soccer

    The 'Masters of Sex' actor is a regular player in the biannual Soccer Aid match - which raises money for UNICEF and features an English team of celebrities and former sports stars against a Rest of the World side - but in 2014, he was unable to get insurance to play after fracturing his elbow, but decided to take a chance and get on the pitch anyway.


    Speaking on the 'Ellis James Feast of Football' podcast, he recalled: "I'd fractured my elbow in training and so I shouldn't have played at all, but there was no way I was not going to play.

    "So essentially they said they couldn't insure me and I had to leave the day after to go to America to carry on filming the series I was doing. I had a week off to go and do this.

    "I had to decide - Do I take the risk of playing in this match with a fractured elbow? - If it gets any worse, I'll have to have pins in and surgery.

    "No one knew. I didn't tell anyone because I knew if I told anyone that would be it."

    The Welsh actor came up with a plan to protect himself by only staying on the pitch for a few minutes and asking the rival side to "take it easy" on him.

    He continued: "I had to go up to the England team and say 'look lads'. I knew the England team better than the Rest of the World team because the Rest of the World team was different every time, whereas the England team is always the same.

    "I knew all those lads, Paddy McGuinness, Robbie Williams, and Jonny Wilkes and all that lot and John Bishop.

    "So I went in there and I said 'Look lads, I'm really sorry to ask you this but I've got this fracture in my elbow and I'm in real trouble if anything happens. So I'm only going to play for like five, 10 minutes. That's all I'm going to do, are you alright to take it easy on me until then?'

    "They're all like, 'Yeah, yeah of course'. "

    But the 50-year-old actor ended up "enjoying" himself so much, he refused to be substituted - much to the annoyance of England player Olly Murs.

    He continued: "My opposite guy was Olly Murs. He was playing left wing. So we start playing the match and he goes easy and it's fine and then 10 minutes goes past and then 15 minutes goes past and then it's 20 minutes and I'm still not coming off.

    "My decision, I'm enjoying it too much. You don't just walk off.

    "I can see Olly Murs just going, 'Hang on', and he's got the ball and he's coming up at me and I can see he's not going to go easy any more and I'm there thinking 'Oh no I've made a mistake here.' "

    The 'Troublemaker' singer was infamously stopped in his tracks by Rest of the World manager Jose Mourinho, and though it was initially thought the former Manchester United and Chelsea boss was simply playing up to the camera, Michael revealed it was a well-timed tackle designed to protect him from further injury.

    He added: Just at that moment, Mourinho, comes on to the pitch and tackles Olly Murs.

    "Everyone thought it was Mourinho being a clown. It wasn't. It was him stopping my elbow getting smashed.

    "So he did that it and it was very 'ha ha' everyone loved it, very funny, and then I came off.

    "And no one ever knew that was actually Mourinho possibly saving my career.

    "Mourinho, good guy officially."

    © 2019 Bang Showbiz, NZCity


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