Robbie Williams has dubbed ‘gentleman gangster’ Ben Shepherd as the celebrity who impresses him every year in Soccer Aid.
The Good Morning Britain presenter usually trades the fun-loving and warm personality he exudes each morning for a hard-headed, dogged, terrier-like midfielder who doesn’t stop chasing the ball. In fact, Shepherd remains the only player to be sent off in Soccer Aid after knocking down former Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov in 2016.
Even Real Madrid legends Zinedine Zidane and Clarence Seedorf struggled to defeat the 47-year-old midfielder, although former Barcelona and Brazil wizard Ronaldinho brought Shepherd to his knees with a very cheeky nutmeg. And Williams could be very disappointed that Shepherd will not play for England this Sunday as he has described him as the most impressive celebrity player he has ever seen for Soccer Aid.
“I’ll tell you who impresses me because they don’t identify themselves as a footballer in any way,” Williams said on the Seaman Says podcast. “But they are a physical specimen, a winner and a competitor, and you would never think that of them if you saw them at their day’s work.
“Ben Shepherd is really impressive because he quietly does his job in a great way. He’s also the only player to be sent off at a charity game, which is quite an amazing achievement.
“He’s a gentleman hitter, he’s a rugby player who plays football.” Shepherd has made seven appearances with Soccer Aid but he will not wear the Three Lions this weekend.
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Luckily for England, former TOWIE (The Only Way Is Essex) star and ex-Crawley Town defender Mark Wright will return for the home side. Wright was also in the Tottenham Hotspur books as a young player but failed to progress beyond the under-18 teams.
And Williams also named Wright one of the aesthetically striking and talented celebs he spotted attending the infamous charity event. “Mark Wright is also very impressive,” Williams added.
“He’s incredibly handsome with that incredible jawline that’s just like that physical specimen that great things happen for. He does all of that just by being charming, good looking and also a fantastic footballer – I’m part of the Mark Wright fan club.”