Ben Cohen (who is clinically classed as deaf) came to prominence in the successful Northampton side that lifted the Heineken Cup in 2000. A big, quick wing, his try-scoring ability brought him to the attention of England boss Clive Woodward, who handed him an international debut against Ireland during the 2000 Six Nations.
Ben became a regular fixture of the England side under Woodward and became a prolific try-scorer on the international stage. He is behind only Rory Underwood on the scoring charts and toured with the British & Irish Lions to Australia in 2001.
He started six games at the Rugby World Cup in 2003, receiving a winners medal and MBE after winning the tournament against hosts Australia. Ben’s Uncle George won the football world cup with England in 1966 making a unique family double.
At domestic level he left the Saints in 2007 following their relegation from the Premiership and joined French Top 14 club Brive alongside fellow England internationals Steve Thompson and Andy Goode.
In 2009 he returned to the Premiership with Sale Sharks, scoring a try for his new club against Toulouse in the Heineken Cup. After two solid seasons with Sale, during which he played 37 games for the Sharks and scored eight tries, he was surprisingly released from at the end of the 2011 season having just picked up the club’s player of the season award.
There was interest from clubs in England and France, but Cohen took the opportunity to announce his retirement from the game at the age of 32 having scored 31 tries in 57 international matches for England.
Ben competed on Strictly Come Dancing before going on to win Channel 4’s The Jump (losing something teeth along the way). He has also launched the impactful Ben Cohen StandUp Foundation which is the world’s first foundation dedicated to raising awareness of the long-term, damaging effects of bullying by connecting communities and raising funds to support those doing real-world work to eradicate bullying, particularly active LGBT community.
Highly popular with rugby fans and the public at large, Ben remains in demand by the media, brands and is a very active public speaker. Be this simply sharing entertaining stories from his life/sporting career, or more focused business/leadership talks.
As Chairman of the Foundation, he travels worldwide speaking to students and businesses about the importance of character, respect and equality in creating a kinder world. The cause is close to his heart, as Ben’s own father was beaten to death when he stood up for an employee who was being attacked.