Wayne Rooney is unveiled today as the NSPCC’s first Ambassador for Childhood. Wayne will help lead the charity’s fight for every childhood by promoting the NSPCC’s campaigns and its services – particularly those that support dads – to his millions of fans. The charity also hopes Wayne’s support will encourage more boys to speak out if they are suffering abuse or struggling to cope with depression or bullying, as currently four times as many girls as boys contact ChildLine, the free, 24 hour helpline provided by the NSPCC.
Every time I put on the captain’s armband I’m filled with pride. I feel the same becoming the NSPCC’s first Ambassador for Childhood and having the chance to help lead the fight for childhood.

Rooney has spoken about what this charity means to him and why he wanted to get involved.

Being a dad of two young boys changes your perspective on everything. You never stop learning as a parent. It can be tough, and some parents need that bit of extra support. As a youngster I was lucky that my mum and dad always loved and supported me and my brothers. They helped make my dreams of becoming a footballer come true – I couldn’t have done it without them. It upsets me to think that there are so many children damaged by abuse, or parents struggling to do their best but not able to give the kids the support they need.

I’ve spent time with NSPCC staff and volunteers in Manchester and I was really humbled by that experience. I heard amazing stories of the children and families they help. I met so many passionate people including volunteers who give up their time for children. I came away feeling that I just wanted to help.

Every child has the right to try and make their dreams come true but unfortunately there are thousands out there right now in need of help. I hope I can help make my younger fans especially aware of the NSPCC and encourage them to speak up if they need help.