Darth Vader may be a powerhouse in a galaxy far, far away, but on Sunday night at Old Trafford the Force wasn’t with him. Instead, it was with the DC FlArrowVerse’s J’onn J’onzz – the Martian Manhunter from the TV show Supergirl.
Actors Hayden Christensen and David Harewood joined forces with other celebrities and former footballers to take part in the 2018 UNICEF Soccer Aid charity match, held on June 10th. It was a night when singer Robbie Williams’s England squad beat real-life speedster Usain Bolt’s World XI at Manchester United’s home ground, in a thrilling showdown that went to penalties after a 3-3 draw at full time. Featuring an unlikely line-up including Michael Owen, Eric Cantona, Mo Farah and Kevin Pietersen, the event raised over five million pounds for children in need.
While a majority of goals were scored in the first half, the second half saw Martian Manhunter actor David Harewood take position in England’s goal, while Hayden Christensen – who played Anakin Skywalker and Darth Vader in the Star Wars prequel trilogy – took to the pitch for the World XI. When full time was called and a celebrity penalty shootout became a reality, the Theatre of Dreams was about to become a nightmare for one of them.
Harewood impressed everybody with his quick reflexes, putting on what was described as a “brave and bold” performance in keeping his team alive. Christensen, under pressure to take a sudden death penalty, force-choked and skied the ball over the crossbar. It was a blunder of Jar Jar-like proportions, allowing England to seize the game as Blake Harrison then went on to score England’s winning final penalty.
Harewood took to Twitter afterwards, jubilantly posting footage of his saves and being upbeat at having met his hero, Eric Cantona. However, he also reminded his followers of the real importance of the evening, saying, “I feel every one of my 52 years this morning, my back hurts and my voice has gone. But I’d get up and do the whole thing again right now if it meant helping kids like this. Thank you ALL for helping make this @socceraid the biggest yet and raising the most cash!!”