YouTuber Chunkz on how football helped him when growing up on council estates

·2-min read

YouTube star Chunkz has said that playing football is “close to his heart” as it helped him when growing up on council estates in London.

The online personality and former musician, 26, is returning to play on the England team for Soccer Aid in June for the third year in a row.

Chunkz, whose real name is Amin Mohamed, admitted that he feels like a “bad luck charm” as his team have lost the previous two years but said he is motivated to win this time around.

Speaking to the PA news agency ahead of the star-studded charity match, he said: “Growing up in council estates, obviously there were ‘no ball game’ signs attached everywhere but we were still playing ball even when we weren’t allowed to.

“So football has really been a thing close to my heart. Not only football, tabletennis, basketball, just anything.

“Growing up in a council estate everyone was either doing the wrong things on the roads or being in a community centre and playing tabletennis and trying to have friends around the area. So that was definitely an important thing for me in many ways.”

Chunkz added that he feels events like Soccer Aid are great platforms to help provide children around the world with opportunity, as the match raises money for the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef).

He told PA: “I feel like every child does deserve to have a playful childhood growing up and having access to games and just being a kid and doing child things.

“It’s very important to me and I really want as many kids around the world to have that opportunity, the same opportunity I did.”

Soccer Aid Training – Mottram Hall
Chunkz admitted he got star-struck meeting his football heroes when playing over the last two years (Martin Rickett/PA)

Mo Gilligan, Harry Redknapp, Gary Neville and Fara Williams will also make their return to the game this year.

Former One Direction star Liam Payne, 28, will captain England while Usain Bolt, 35, heads the Soccer Aid World XI team.

Despite playing in the charity match for the past couple of years, Chunkz admitted to still getting “star-struck” by the professional players who he grew up watching.

He recalled that, particularly in his first year in 2020, meeting the likes of Wayne Rooney and John Terry was a “crazy” experience as they were asking him for photographs as their children were fans of the YouTuber.

Soccer Aid for Unicef 2022 takes place on June 12 at The London Stadium, with tickets at socceraid.org.uk/tickets.

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