One of the most talented and well-known footballers of his generation, John Barnes played for Liverpool, England and Watford over the course of his career. A skilful winger who caused many defensive issues for the opposition, John won a plethora of major honours during his career including two league titles, two FA Cups and a League Cup. As well as this he played 79 times for his country including at two World Cup’s and is also renowned for his rap on the 1990 New Order track World in Motion which stormed to the top of the charts. Over the years he’s also become a regular commentator on social issues and can often be found discussing racism in Britain. When booked as a BAME speaker he is able to expertly discuss his experiences of racism with audiences, opening their eyes to the real-life prejudices that still exist.
At his peak John was one of the best players in Britain playing over 4oo times for Liverpool, winning countless honours along the way. Despite being a star for club and country he was, unfortunately, a victim of abhorrent racism from the terraces. Opposition fans would regularly throw bananas and perform monkey chants at his expense. During his speaking events, he is able to recall in vivid detail the vile abuse he experienced highlighting both the progress we’ve made so far, as well as how far we still need to go to eradicate racism from society.
Born in Jamaica, John moved to the UK aged 12 in 1976. A naturally gifted footballer he was soon offered a contract by Graham Taylor’s Watford side and he went on to play almost 300 games for the club before moving to Merseyside. It wasn’t long until he was noticed by his country either receiving his England debut in 1983.
John spent a bit of time in management after hanging up his boots but is now best known for being a popular TV personality and anti-racism campaigner. He can be regularly found on the likes of Sky News and Question Time discussing racism and discrimination in society as was demonstrated in 2020 when he spoke about the Black Lives Matter movement and killing of George Floyd.
When booked as a BAME speaker your event will receive both a football icon and true social warrior. John’s articulate, intelligent and charismatic speeches always have an impact giving him an aura, unlike any other speaker.
John Barnes is regularly booked to engage audiences at events, read their latest feedback below:
“I didn’t get to say bye to John but he was absolutely amazing and I cannot begin to thank him enough!! He got up on the tannoy and did two fantastic raps, he really motivated so many people to give. Thank you so much, John and we will let you know how much you helped us raise. We are sharing the fun of the day on social media but I wanted to send John a huge thank you.”
“Once again a great evening – thanks for your help in arranging everything.”
“John was great, and in my opinion just what we were looking for and more. He was really thought-provoking and quite provocative at times, he utilised simple analogies to help people truly understand the meaning of unconscious bias… A great inspiring choice- thanks for your help and support in organising. Look forward to organising the next event soon!”
“John is also a great guy, again extremely funny, personable and made us all think with the content of his keynote speech. He was happy to pose for photos (there were a few ‘swooning’ ladies) with us all and chatted happily with those who wanted to speak to him. We even heard the famous ‘rap’ at the end which the majority of the room filmed on their phones and is now probably somewhere on social media! “