Line Of Duty star Martin Compston reveals heartbreaking reason behind his Soccer Aid return | The Sun

HE'S starred in some gritty dramas over the years, but nothing could have prepared actor Martin Compston for the destitution he witnessed as part of his work with UNICEF.

The star of Line of Duty travelled to Dakha in Bangladesh to see how the organisation was helping abandoned boys forced to live in the city’s railway station.

Martin, 39, found common ground through playing football, which is appropriate as he's lending his support to this weekend's Soccer Aid for UNICEF.

But the toughest part was the fact that he couldn’t help but compare many of the young lads he met with his own son.

Martin said: “My wee boy’s four this year, and for a while after this trip I was having this recurring, terrifying dream of him in that situation.

"One of the boys we met was dropped at that train station when he was five. Your head starts going: ‘what if my boy was just wandering about that station and people could pick him up and do whatever, beat him, something even worse?

read more on martin compston

Line Of Duty’s Martin Compston reveals future of hit BBC show

Prime video confirms Martin Compston thriller’s future The Rig’s

"It makes you feel sick, it genuinely makes you feel nauseous.

”These kids are actually having to fight for and fend for their lives, and little scraps of food, and are afraid of being beaten.

"It’s very hard to not start relating to people you love in that situation and, for the grace of God, it’s not my boy. It is utterly heartbreaking. It haunts me even now.”

But despite the heartbreak he witnessed, Martin felt it was a worthwhile trip to witness first-hand where the money from Soccer Aid goes.

Most read in TV


BGT semi-finalist dies aged 38 as Strictly pros pay tribute to 'beautiful soul'


Jordan Banjo shares newborn son’s update after being hospitalised with sepsis

it's back!

Award-winning BBC sitcom with beloved star returning to screens next month


EastEnders fans anticipate shock affair after spotting sexual chemistry

It also means that the event's meaning has changed for him, because it's less about the fun of the game and more about the serious work UNICEF carry out.

He said:  "The people at UNICEF are always very clear when we're there, why we're there, you know, the point of it, and they make you aware of everybody that’s going on their trips and although it's a fun week, it's a serious week with the end goal to raise as much money as possible.

"But the more I've been there and getting older myself, my life changing, you know, becoming a dad, and then kind of topping off with being on this trip, it's changed me.

"Like, now it's gone from, if I was completely honest, the football was at the forefront of my mind, that's now just something at the back, it's a means to an end.

I've been lucky enough to get to know some of the people at UNICEF, the work they do, they're always keen to get us involved and show where they are in different parts of the world, where there's bigger projects going on, and it's just phenomenal what they do.

"I mean, they're literally saving kids in danger, there's nothing more really noble than that."

As part of the trip, Martin met the team and young users of the Kamalapur Street Hub who help the young lads in a very simple, but effective way.

He said: "It’s just tents in the back of a truck yard but it’s a safe space for these kids. But they've got food, you know, they try and keep them on a schedule, they get them up, they get them fed, and they try and keep them around.

"A lot of street kids do drugs just to numb the pain because they get beaten up that much at the side of the roads and stuff, they just walk by and people kick them and stuff.

"If you're high on drugs, then you don't feel it as much, it's a necessity for them, you know, just to numb out the pain.

But when they're in there, they have a schedule, they have their meals in the morning, they have their school time, they play games, they sing songs and they just all try and sit together, and they all become a little group together, they all look after each other.

"I think it's really important, again, what UNICEF do is use people on the ground. Because Rubel who we met, who ran that project, has been in their situation, he knows what they're going through, so he knows the dangers that they face.

"So he does his utmost to keep them all around, and trains them, so there are kids who are getting to an age when they are old enough to kind of take it over."

Martin now hopes that others will understand the good work that Unicef through Soccer aid can continue to do and is encouraging as many people as possible to help.

He said: "Now I’ve experienced what I have in Bangladesh, I’m even more determined to get the message out there that every little helps. It’s not just a football game, it’s an opportunity to shout about what UNICEF do and try and help as much as we can."

Read more on The Sun

Our road is so full of pot holes I have to take pain killers after driving home

Home Bargains shoppers are rushing to buy ‘brilliant’ £20 summer essential

Watch Soccer Aid for UNICEF 2023 on Sunday 11th June at 6.30pm, live and exclusively on ITV1, STV and ITVX.

Donations can be made ahead of the match at

Source: Read Full Article