On 1 December supporters from the realms of football, business, and the media attended the Grassroot Soccer charity gala at London’s Savoy Hotel. Hosted by well-known television presenter and journalist Jake Humphrey, the event raised over £267,000 for HIV and AIDS prevention among youth in Africa.

Park Ji-Sun and Kim Min Ji

International football star Park Ji-Sun and wife Kim Min Ji.

oguchi onyewu wad gala 2014

Football star and GRS Pro Ambassador Oguchi Onyewu.






The event’s 200 guests were treated to performances by 3-time world champion freestyle footballer Andrew Henderson, the Dele Sosimi Afrobeat Quartet, and the London Community Gospel Choir. They had the opportunity to bid on exclusive and unique prizes in both live and silent auctions, including opportunities to mix it up on the pitch and talk football with the likes of Grassroot Soccer Pro Ambassadors Robert Pirès, Fredrik Ljungberg, and Bacary Sagna, or go behind the scenes at Channel 4 News with Jon Snow. A special highlight of the auction was a Nelson Mandela hand-signed lithograph titled “The Window.” The print was particularly meaningful as the world marks the one-year anniversary of “Madiba’s” passing.

Notable gala attendees included footballers Kieran Gibbs, Park Ji-sung, and Oguchi Onyewu, British no. 2 tennis player James Ward, tennis legend Boris Becker, television presenters Davina McCall Robertson and Jon Snow, and Helen Grant MP.

Jake Humphrey

Evening host, broadcaster Jake Humphrey.

Guests were also able to participate in Grassroot Soccer’s #iamafootballer campaign, by sharing messages of hope, determination, and social impact that apply equally to the beautiful game and the fight against AIDS.

Jon Snow

Broadcaster Jon Snow with a ragball made in Khayelitsha, South Africa by GRS Coaches through Ragball International.

Davina McCall and Matt Robertson

Television presenter Davina McCall and husband Matthew Robertson show their support for World AIDS Day.

Grassroot Soccer would like to extend our thanks to the many individuals and organisations who donated so generously to the auction and to L’Oreal for the wonderful gifts donated to all our guests. We would also like to thank our partner Ragball International for the colorful table gifts, auctioneer Hugh Edmeades, and all the evening’s presenters.

Tommy Clark and Kieran Gibbs

GRS Founder and CEO Dr. Tommy Clark and Arsenal FC star Kieran Gibbs.

All proceeds from the evening benefitted Grassroot Soccer’s work using the power of football to educate, inspire and empower young people to stop the spread of HIV. Founded by four professional football players, Grassroot Soccer is mobilising the most vulnerable population of youth, ages 12-19, to break the cycle of AIDS by engaging local Coaches who equip young people with the knowledge, skills and support they need to avoid HIV. Grassroot Soccer has a global reach, with flagship sites in South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe, and trains thousands of Coaches in more than 40 countries to provide valuable education and support to more than 700,000 young people.

Andrew Henderson

Freestyle football champion Andrew Henderson gives an exciting performance.

Tope Lawani and Baba Soyoye

Table hosts Tope Lawani (left) and Babatunde Soyoye (third from right), both of Helios Investments, and friends.