Francis Benali is a Premier League legend having played nearly 400 games for Southampton FC. His commitment, hard working attitude and ferocious, full-blooded tackles made Franny (as he is more affectionately known), a true fans favourite, he even famously played on with a broken arm in one game.
An experienced pundit and co-commentator on numerous channels such as Sky Sports, Sky Sports News, BBC, BT Sport, Channel 5 and Talk Sport Radio, Franny doesn’t hold back when commenting on games and performances, particularly with his beloved Saints.
A dedicated fundraiser, during May 2019 Franny raised over £1 million in aid of Cancer Research UK when he took on 7 Iron Man distance triathlons in 7 days. This involved a 2.4 mile swim, 112 miles on his bike, then a 26.2 mile marathon – every single day. He is thought to be the oldest person in the UK to take on an event as intense as this.
To top off an amazing year, Francis has been awarded an MBE in the New Years Honours list for his services to charity and will be collecting his honour from Buckingham Palace in June 2020.