The charitable side of ... Robbie Williams

Graham Willgoss

He's occasionally been known to say somethin' stupid, but Robbie does a lot of good work for Unicef - and Stoke.

To many, it might seem as if the charitable side of the "fat dancer from Take That" (to quote Noel Gallagher) extends only as far as French kissing the odd female fan on stage at his phenomenally popular concerts.

But May finds one of the biggest acts of the 21st century busy recruiting his celebrity mates to play in his charity football game, Soccer Aid, to raise money for Unicef.

Williams will captain an English team including Jude Law and Orlando Bloom against the likes of French actor Olivier Martinez and celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, who have agreed to play for a Rest of the World team.

"I have been an ambassador for Unicef since 2000," says Williams. "During my trips with the organisation, I have met so many children who made me smile that now I want to give them reasons to do the same."

But pop's cheeky chappie isn't interested only in the glamorous side of giving. Since it was set up in 2000, the Robbie Williams Give it Sum Fund has handed out more than £3m to projects set up to address poverty, disadvantage and discrimination in north Staffordshire.

Community groups in and around Stoke-on-Trent, the singer's home town, are being urged to apply for grants. It is holding an information day this week at Port Vale Football Club's stadium, Vale Park, so that organisations can find out how to bid for a grant.

The Robster has also taken part in an advert for the Everyman Cancer Campaign, is a patron of Great Ormond Street's Jeans for Genes appeal and recently donated to Give it Sum the damages he won from a libel case against The People after it claimed he was gay. Take that.

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