Soccer Aid amuses fans as 'affordable Iron Man' delivers match ball

Co-commentator Iain Stirling coined the phrase.

A man in a jetpack delivered the Soccer Aid 2024 match ball. (ITV screenshot)
A man in a jetpack delivered the Soccer Aid 2024 match ball. (ITV screenshot)

Soccer Aid 2024 returned to ITV1 for an evening of celebrities and sporting superstars raising money for UNICEF at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

Before the England and Rest of the World teams went at it on the pitch - home to five-time Premier League champions Chelsea FC - the official match ball was delivered to the centre circle by a jetpack-flying man, while the Kenny Loggins tune 'Danger Zone' sounded out through the stadium's speakers in a nod to Top Gun.

It was a moment of soaring randomness enjoyed by co-commentators Sam Matterface, Iain Stirling and viewers alike.

Dermot O'Leary and Alex Scott presented the show. (ITV screenshot)
Dermot O'Leary and Alex Scott presented the show. (ITV screenshot)

"We've come up with loads of tactical innovations over the course of the last few years at Soccer Aid; the Euros three years ago had tiny cars, the Tokyo Olympics experimented with a little bus, but we are quite literally taking it to new heights," said Matterface as the pilot zipped through the air.

Stirling, who is a familiar voice to Love Island fans, went on to quip: "It is the world's most affordable Iron Man, look at him go!" before informing people at home that jetpacks "are not quiet".

Following this odd turn of events, the column inches of social media platform X were full of reactions too. "Zoned out on my phone and just looked up at the tv to see a man in a jet pack zooming around Stamford Bridge. What is this," questioned one baffled viewer.

A second person joked: "Even the world cup doesn't have jet packs", while someone else piped up with this Toy Story reference: "It's buzz light year at Stamford bridge".

From Soccer Aid Productions

Soccer Aid For UNICEF 2024 on ITV1 and ITVX

Pictured: Ellen White 

This photograph is (C) UNICEF/Soccer Aid Productions/Stella Pictures and can only be reproduced for editorial purposes directly in connection with the programme or event mentioned above, or ITV plc. This photograph must not be manipulated [excluding basic cropping] in a manner which alters the visual appearance of the person photographed deemed detrimental or inappropriate by ITV plc Picture Desk.  This photograph must not be syndicated to any other company, publication or website, or permanently archived, without the express written permission of ITV Picture Desk. Full Terms and conditions are available on the website

For further information please contact:
Ellen White became the charity game's first-ever female goalscorer. (UNICEF/Soccer Aid Productions/Stella Pictures)

Meanwhile, Soccer Aid finally got its first-ever female scorer in the shape of England's Ellen White, who bagged a record 52 goals in 113 international appearances during her footballing career. Prior to retiring in 2022, she played for Arsenal, Notts County, Birmingham City and Manchester City.

The charity match finished 6-3 to England.

Soccer Aid will return next year on ITV1.