If you grew up watching football in the 1990s, Francis Benali needs no introduction. Playing for Southampton FC from 1998 through to the early 2000s, he was a feared full back who played over 300 league games for the Saints. Having been lucky enough to play at Wembley during his career, and having represented England a number of times at youth level, it’s fair to say he certainly achieved his dreams.
Since his retirement, Francis has become patron and ambassador for charities and foundations, regularly completing endurance challenges to raise money for Cancer Research UK. In 2014, he was the first recipient of the Barclays Spirit of the Game Award, was Just Giving’s Celebrity Fundraiser of the Year in 2015 and was awarded the Freedom of the City of Southampton in 2016. In addition to his charity work, Francis is a regular on Sky and BT Sport and is a highly regarded motivational speaker.
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