One of the heroes of England’s 2003 Rugby World Cup squad, Ben Cohen helped the nation to a historic first-ever win in the tournament.

He played a key role in the momentous victory over Australia in the final, and off-the-pitch he’s also made an impact. In 2011, he set up the Ben Cohen StandUp Foundation, a charity that raises awareness of the long-term effects of bullying.

A popular LGBT and PRIDE speaker, Ben’s foundation also has a specific focus on homophobia, an issue he often addresses at his speaking events. He was even one of the initial inductees to the National Gay and Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame.

During his successful rugby career, Ben played 57 times for England including in that famous 2003 World Cup final. He scored 155 points for his country and in the domestic game played for Sale, Northampton and French side Brive. Ben has since become a gay icon, following his retirement from the sport.

An outspoken ally of the community, he has been featured in several LGBT+ magazines, like Out and Compete Magazine, and at all his speaking events uses it as a platform to combat homophobia.

Growing up in Northampton, Ben was a big fan of the Northampton Saints as a child and he joined his local team when he was just 17 years old.

In 2000, he made his England debut transferring his excellence from the domestic game onto the international stage. Ben was born clinically deaf, not letting it hold him back he’s used his profile to make the sport more accessible for children suffering from deafness or hearing loss. Having adapted to his condition, he teaches audiences how to overcome adversity at events.

Alongside his foundation work, Ben is a strong advocate of LGBT+ rights. Realising he was in a unique position as a straight man with a large LGBT following, he took a vocal stand of support to bridge the sexuality gap.

With homophobia rife in sport, Ben uses his platform to educate people on the issue in the hope of eradicating it from society altogether.

When hired as an PRIDE speaker, Ben always aims to make a difference and has established himself as one of the most committed and determined LGBT speakers on the circuit.

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