The ITV talent show alumni will perform in a pre-match concert on the pitch in an event which will see footballing greats return to the Theatre of Dreams.
Legendary captain Bryan Robson will lead the United team, which also includes Edwin van der Sar in net, classic strike duo Andrew Cole and Dwight Yorke plus legendary midfielder Paul Scholes and Dutch defender Jaap Stam.
Despite being a Chelsea fan, Union J’s Josh Cuthbert is excited to see some of the ex-Reds back in action at the event: “I always remember Jaap Stam as a kid being an absolute machine at the back so I want to see if he still looks as scary as he did when he was playing. Plus Andy Cole and Dwight Yorke up front – it’s really exciting.”
Bandmate Jaymi added, “I went with my dad and my brother to watch a match at Old Trafford and I remember thinking, ‘This is it’. I always had the United kits every year and I supported the team so to perform there is amazing; I can’t imagine what it will be like.”
The band, which finished fourth in the 2012 series of the X Factor, is currently touring UK arenas but the boys spoke about how stadium performances compare. “We’re doing arenas now but audiences are all in one direction,” said Josh. “When you’re in a football stadium, everywhere you look there are people and it’s just the most surreal feeling.”
Current X Factor champion Ben Haenow is also looking forward to one of his biggest performances since being crowned the winner in December 2014. “It will be amazing to play at Old Trafford, one of the most iconic stadiums no matter who you support,” Ben said. “It’ll be great to see some of the ex-players back in action, especially England legends like Bryan Robson and Paul Scholes. This has been an incredible year for me and I’m looking forward to another new experience and supporting a fantastic cause”.
The event follows the success of the 2013 clash between United and Real Madrid legends, which raised £1 million for Manchester United Foundation and will also include family activities and a fun fair outside the stadium.
The Red veterans travelled to Munich in August 2014 for the first leg against their German counterparts, with goals from Paul Scholes and Andrew Cole resulting in a 3-3 draw, so there is all to play for in the return match in June.
All money raised from the event will go towards Manchester United Foundation’s work in the local community. Tickets are on sale now from www.manutd.com/legendsareback or by calling 0161 868 8000.