To engage and captivate 200 children talking and sharing personal stories of resilience shown throughout his career is impressive; to do this again straight after with another 200 children, is why Francis is very admirable. Tasked with highlighting the theme of resilience and its significance to 400 children across an afternoon, Francis spoke honestly, warmly and provokingly, leaving the children with lasting memories and messages to take forward. Not only a genuinely kind and humble man, Francis is a clear natural speaker. We, as a school, would thoroughly recommend him.

Callum Wright  
Hiltingbury Junior School

The key note that Franny did not only captured and inspired students and staff but really motivated them to engage in change and being part of a better community. Students reflected on sacrifice and effort and have written action plans with this newly found drive and ambition. All delivered in a friendly and calm manner that students really related to. Thank you.

Mat Davies

Assistant Head, John Mason School

There are many impassioned speakers, but to genuinely inspire 16 and 17 year olds you need a touch of magic. As soon as he stood in front of 400 former students and their parents, Franny began to weave his spell. Everybody, in a matter of 20 or so minutes, experienced the highs and lows of Franny’s endurance tests, laughing and crying in equal measure. You could have heard a pin drop as images of a near-broken Franny flashed up on the screen, whilst silently and palpably the audience willed him on, eventually sharing in his tears of relief and joy as he’s seen crossing the finish line at the end of his 2 weeks feat of running and cycling 1400 miles.

A great story of the human spirit tested to breaking point. Inspiring, moving, funny – told with humility and impossible modesty.

Heather Mcllroy

Executive Headteacher, The Mountbatten School

I approached Franny to be a guest on The Everyday Adventure Podcast after hearing his story from a mutual friend. Throughout our interactions, from our initial phone conversation right through to recording the episode, I was blown away by his humility, generosity and willingness to share the challenges he has faced, as well as his incredible acheivements. As a guest he was utterly inspirational and he formed a real connection with the audience, as shown by the amazing feedback I have received since.I would highly recommend Franny as a guest and speaker; you cannot fail to be inspired by his outlook and approach to life. 

Will Cope
Presenter, Broadcaster, Journalist & Course Leader of ‘Sports Journalism’ at Southampton Solent University

Franny spoke to a team of Operational Supervisor’s in a safety critical role, where he brilliantly drew parallels between professional sports teams and high-performing leadership teams. His speech was thought provoking, inspirational and motivational and the whole team were captivated by it. The very fact that Franny was able to deliver such a speech with passion, humour and humility is testament to his ability to motivate others. I would thoroughly recommend him to anybody looking for a motivational and inspiring presentation.


Brian Wheeler
Deputy General Manager, London Terminal Control, Swanwick Centre

Mr Benali’s journey and challenges are absolutely incredible, and it is really inspiring to see such strong determination. It is indescribably impressive how he made those achievements possible, and trumps all of the excuses we make every day


Eunice Lee
Upper Sixth pupil, Epsom College

Franny came into Southampton Academy to speak to our U18s about his career path, his commitment and dedication to the sport and also his charity work. The session was thoroughly engaging and the players enjoyed listening to what Franny had to say. Franny spoke to the players in a way that encouraged questions and also opened their minds to a new way of ding things. I wouldn’t hesitate in having Franny back in to speak to the boys again.


Ian Herding

Performance Education and Life Care Officer, Southampton FC

Francis Benali gives a lucid and inspiring account of his own experience in the world of professional football, of how he got to and stayed at the top by making the most of his talent through hard work and determination, seeing off challenges from what he himself modestly describes as more naturally gifted players. Not one to rest on his well earned laurels, Fran’s advocacy of hard work and perseverance is given tremendous authority by his own account of the fund-raising challenges he has undertaken since retiring from professional sport. From the selfless desire to use his position for the benefit of others to the gruelling reality of day after day marathon endurance, Fran’s story is one guaranteed to inspire and motivate any audience and to make youngsters believe in themselves and set their ambitions high.


Dr SD Gamblin

Teacher of Chemistry & Assistant Director of Studies (Academic Extension) at King Edwards VI School

For someone with such an accomplished career on the pitch, with a inherent connection to the City of Southampton, it is Francis' extra-curricular work with charities that sets him apart from any of his peers. While his football career presentations are enthralling, his post-football career is inspiring down to the core. The lives he has touched, and helped is unsurmountable, and you can only be inspired to better yourself to benefit others, after hearing his motivating, dynamic talks. So much depth to his character, has led me to write this with hand-on-heart feelings, knowing any audience exposed to Francis will be engaged, energised and immersed, in his well executed, professional, presentation with perfect pitch. Thoroughly recommended, and a great example of a motivational speaker of today, next year, the year after and beyond!


Luke Arrowsmith
Operations Director Entertainment, P&O Cruises

What can we say, easy; What an honest, inspirational, true gentleman Franny is, and not forgetting his wonderful supporting wife, Karen. Shaftesbury Football Club were lucky to host an evening with Franny after one of our Directors met him on a holiday got talking and invited him to our club. What a success that was! Franny joined us and gave a two part talk, starting with his footballing career and his determination as a youngster to follow a dream, working hard and getting better daily to play for Southampton. And what a fantastic career he had at Southampton, a loyal, true legend. Franny then moved on to his Endurance Charity work, with a video display showing the tough times and hard work which was great to watch. His hours of hard work and support from family & friends to help others is amazing. Franny is an inspiration to others in all that he does and it was an absolute pleasure to have him as our speaker. We would like to thank Franny for coming and supporting a growing football club.


The Directors
Shaftesbury Football Club

We had Francis deliver a talk at about his career and fundraising exploits for Cancer Research UK in front of an audience of 100 people. The feedback from everyone was what an inspiration and role model he is to everyone. I hope your influence on those that you talk to lasts a lifetime. Well done Franny.


Wayne Shaw (Pie Man)
AFC Totton

I am very proud to know Franny not just as an ambassador for our business, but also now as a friend. Despite his amazing career and life achievements, you’d be hard pressed to meet a more humble and genuine man. Deciding to work with Franny was easy - he is local to our Winchester store, he’s an all-action hero - and his unwavering commitment to his own family mirrors the values we’re built on as an independent family business.

Franny’s ability to connect with people is second to none. Not long after we started working together, we booked Franny to come and speak at one of our VIP customer evenings. We had been having these exclusive evenings for a while, but nothing prepared us for the attendance on that night! But even more impressive was the way Franny engaged with every person there. He spoke easily of his life as a premiership footballer and his super-human challenges to raise money for Cancer Research, and had the audience hanging on his every word. Afterwards, I watched as Franny chatted for hours with our customers and staff. He’s a true star – chiselled good looks and an equally handsome personality to go with it!

Seriously though - I cannot recommend him highly enough as a speaker. He is not just a truly inspirational person but a truly good one too.

Logo-burrells-FInal.pngEdward Ferris
Managing Director, Burrells Jewellers

We were lucky enough to have Franny present at our annual Speaker’s Dinner, and what a pleasure it was. Leading up to the event, Franny was very easy to speak to and happily gathered our ideas to allow him to tailor his presentation to our audience. On the night, he not only amused us with exciting stories from his football career, but also gave a very passionate, honest account of his life since retiring, and the highs and lows of life after football. Delivered naturally and professionally, Franny’s presentation and video left everyone feeling inspired. We would like to thank Franny for an extremely engaging evening and would thoroughly recommend him.

 RSM.pngPaul Anthony

We had the pleasure in having Franny address our Leadership team, at an informal dinner setting. It is important to give context, that the team were made up of Pan European colleagues, I say this as everyone spoke to me of their fascination and admiration with Franny’s story post the event, with not everyone recognising Franny for his footballing career.

It has been said before that Franny is one of the nicest guys you could meet, but his ability to inspire an audience is second to none. We all came away motivated and realising that anything and everything is possible with the right planned focus and determination. I would recommend a gathering with Franny and hear it for yourself.

incomm-logo-l.png Simon Osgood
Senior Vice President, Incomm

Franny came to Romsey School and spoke with such passion and commitment. It was great to have him share his journey with our successful Y11 students. Feedback from students, parents and staff was all top class for what Franny has achieved in life. You can achieve great things so thank you Franny.


Jonathan de Sausmarez
Executive Headteacher, The Romsey School

Deloitte Southampton has a strong network of our employees who have moved on to key businesses in the Solent region; our Alumni.

We like to get them together once a year. A chance to catch up with former colleagues and do something fun and memorable.

This year it was suggested we use Franny Benali as a speaker and host for an evening at the Harbour Hotel, Southampton.

As soon as we spoke to him we knew we had the right person. A fascinating and inspiring story to tell; both of his time in Football and since when he has taken on some incredible challenges.

For us it gave; the local connection, someone who had absolutely made the most of their talent, but was also someone our people could connect with.

The acceptance levels for the evening were great. On the night Franny arrived early, spoke to everyone, inspired us with his story; and was the last to leave.

The feedback from our people was very positive…’best ever’.


Simon Miles
Deloitte LLP

I approached Franny to be a guest on The Everyday Adventure Podcast after hearing his story from a mutual friend. Throughout our interactions, from our initial phone conversation right through to recording the episode, I was blown away by his humility, generosity and willingness to share the challenges he has faced, as well as his incredible acheivements. As a guest he was utterly inspirational and he formed a real connection with the audience, as shown by the amazing feedback I have received since.I would highly recommend Franny as a guest and speaker; you cannot fail to be inspired by his outlook and approach to life. 

Resilience_At_Work_LOGO_v2.jpegNicki Bass
Director, Resilience at Work Ltd

I am very pleased to provide a testimonial for Francis Benali, who was the guest speaker at our staff awards ceremony Hospital Heroes.

Francis spoke about the personal challenge that he had undertaken in terms of running between all of the premier football clubs. His speech was very inspiring, and he made his experience relevant to the hospital staff by talking about the need for determination and personal resilience, and how it was underpinned by teamwork.

He then presented the awards to all of our staff award winners, and had his photo taken with each one. I thought that he handled this process very well and quickly made staff feel at ease in front of a large crowd.

Afterwards he very generously stayed on to talk to all the members of staff who wanted to speak to him. Many of them wanted him to sign autographs which he was also happy to do.

I would certainly recommend Francis for any similar event and I very much hope that he will be available to support the hospital again at events in the future.


Fiona Dalton (Chief Executive) 
University Hospital Southampton