MANCHESTER United manager Sir Alex Ferguson wished England's Homeless World Cup team luck as they prepared to fly to the finals in Sweden.
The eight players include Kevin Wilson, 22, who was brought up by foster parents and plays for the Single Homeless Accommodation Project (Shap) team in Huddersfield.
The goalkeeper slept rough until being given a flat in Marsh through the project.
Players for the squad were selected by Manchester United and staff at The Big Issue in the North magazine.
They have been given intensive training by the club's Football in the Community coaches.
Sir Alex said: "We are really pleased to be supporting England's Homeless World Cup team and The Big Issue in the North again.
"The lads have been training with our coaches in the run-up to the event and are a professional and disciplined squad. I wish them every success at the World Cup."
The team will play a series of games, each lasting 14 minutes, competing against 28 teams from across the world, including Spain, Portugal, Brazil and Argentina.
The week-long tournament is organised by the International Network of Street Papers.
Other squad members are Londoners Ahmet Akdag, 22, Derrell Miller, 22, Auric Afrani, 23, and Adeleke Adeniji, 21. They are joined by Tony Sheerin, 24, Alex Edwards, 17, and Joe Torode, 19, from Merseyside.