I think it’s a safe assumption to make that a lot of people found 2020 to be a bit boring. The cancellation of some of the year’s most anticipated events; The Olympics, Glastonbury’s 50th, the International Mathematical Olympiad in Saint Petersburg (thank you Wikipedia), all went largely under the radar amidst the apocalypse that was happening all around the world.
The return of high quality sporting fixtures, however, was such a huge moment for many, providing something to watch amid the endless hours of Netflix and Tiger King (remember that!?). But as great as watching live sport has been, the return of crowds can’t come soon enough – the rescheduled Euros being one that I am very much looking forward to.
But who are the keynote speakers from the world of football that you could get for your event? Technically David Beckham is an option, but let’s be honest he doesn’t have much to say for the fee he is after, unlike some of these.
Any list of this nature that doesn’t include Clarke Carlisle is an incomplete one, which is not my opinion but fact. Clarke is one of the best keynote speakers on the circuit, speaking eloquently and emotionally about his battles with mental health and depression. Rarely an audience will be left dry-eyed after listening to Clarke speak, and as excited as everyone is for the Euros, it’s worth remembering the very important role athletes and former players such as Clarke have in raising awareness in these areas.
Eni is one of those keynote speakers that makes you feel just a little bit inadequate. Not on purpose of course, but as someone that has achieved so much both in her main line of work (the football) and also outside of it. On top of being one of the best English footballers produced in the modern era, Eni is also a qualified and practicing lawyer who speaks fiercely on the need for more diversity both in sport and in society.
Rio has been a household name for years now as one of the best English defenders of all time. For a long time Rio had an off-the-pitch persona which was very much that of the stereotypical male athlete – I for one can never forget Rio Ferdinand’s World Cup Wind-ups as a prime example of this behaviour – but in recent years has been another vocal voice around mental health off the back of his incredible documentary “Being Mum and Dad”. Entertaining and open, Rio is one of the best football keynote speakers available.
Moving away from former players, sometimes it’s interesting to hear from those that are involved with the running of the game. It’s always incredibly useful to hear lessons from other industries and Professional Football is a fascinating case study. As well as working with many NFL, NBA and Formula 1 teams, Mike is probably best known as being the Former Director of Football Operations at Chelsea – working with talent, teamwork, recruitment, peak performance and performance measurement. A lot of buzzwords that crop up at many conferences, so definitely a keynote speaker to keep in mind
Heather was the first ethnic minority Director at the FA and the only woman on the entire board when she joined it in 2011. In an incredibly male dominated industry such as Football, Heather helped bring more diversity into the boardrooms (including adding Rio to the commission) and change the image of football. She has also served as a governor of the BBC, the Chief Exec of Lambeth Council and named one of the 100 most powerful women in the United Kingdom by Woman’s Hour. A really incredible person and another brilliant keynote speaker.
If you’d like to book a keynote speaker mentioned above – or any of the other keynote speakers we work with – then please get in touch here