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John Barnes

John Barnes is a Premier League icon and advocate for racial equality who has profoundly impacted football and society. His career, marked by over 150 goals and 79 England caps, alongside his off-field activism against discrimination, exemplifies his dedication to excellence and change. Barnes' legacy extends beyond sports, embodying perseverance, teamwork, and advocacy.

Image Credit: Sjur Bjørkly - Own work via Wikipedia - Creative Commons License Details

About John Barnes

John Barnes is celebrated as one of the English Premier League’s finest wingers and a stalwart advocate for racial equality. He has left an indelible mark on the world of football and beyond. His journey from the fields of Jamaica to the hallowed grounds of Anfield is a story of talent, perseverance, and advocacy, making him not just a football legend but a beacon of positive change.

John’s illustrious career in football saw him dazzling fans worldwide with his exceptional skill and dedication. Renowned for his time at Liverpool from 1987 to 1997, and subsequently at Newcastle United until 1999, Barnes scored over 150 goals in 586 local appearances, a testament to his prowess and influence on the pitch. His remarkable performance earned him 79 caps for England, solidifying his position as one of the country’s greatest left-footed players—a title bestowed upon him by readers of The Times. Beyond his club success, John’s leadership qualities shone brightly, guiding teams like Celtic Football Club, Jamaica’s national team, and Tranmere Rovers with a strategic and balanced approach to the game.

Off the field, John’s impact has been equally profound. As the first high-profile black player at Anfield during the 1980s—a time when racial abuse was rampant in stadia—John, alongside fellow pioneers like Lawrie Cunningham, Cyril Regis, and Viv Anderson, played a pivotal role in challenging and changing the narrative around race in football. His unwavering commitment to combating discrimination has made him a beloved figure, not only among fans but also as a respected voice in the broader conversation on equality and inclusion.

As a speaker, John brings his rich tapestry of experiences to a diverse range of audiences. From awards ceremonies to business conferences, he captivates listeners with insights into peak performance, the importance of teamwork, and the power of resilience. Moreover, his work as an author, presenter, and commentator for ESPN and SuperSports has allowed him to share his knowledge and passion for football with a global audience.

John’s foray into the world of music, particularly his lead rapping role in New Order’s song “World In Motion,” showcases his versatility and ability to connect with people in unique and memorable ways. This blend of sporting excellence, advocacy, and entertainment makes John Barnes an inspirational figure whose legacy transcends the boundaries of football.

In celebrating John Barnes, we celebrate a life dedicated to excellence, equality, and education. His journey from a young talent in Jamaica to an internationally revered footballer and speaker is a powerful testament to the impact one individual can have, both within their field and in society at large.

To book after dinner speaker  John Barnes,  contact The Speakers Agency on +44(0)1332 810481 or email

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