Saturday, 12 September 2015

Ben Cohen: 'I Am A Real Nice, Kind Man'

“I am a real nice, kind man – I think I am,” he says when I ask him to describe himself. “I am very honest in my views. Kind, giving, caring, but I can be very honest and that’s how I am. I sometimes say it how it is. I’ve learnt to curb that a little bit, but I’ve always been a straight shooter in some way.” ...

In 2010, he did a “sexy calendar which featured shirtless and shower shots”, which, drawing on his gay fan base, generated “a huge amount of money”. Then he flew to America to meet Patrick Davis from the Atlanta Bucks, a rugby club in the US which welcomes gay and diverse communities. As they talked about establishing the StandUp Foundation, Cohen broke down. “I was so emotional on realising there was something positive I could contribute to help a lot of people in pain, I couldn’t believe it. I’d felt like a loser for so long … 

“All those years I’d been driven by something very dark and sad under the surface, I’d been mourning on the pitch, and now, in my retirement from rugby, it was time to start healing by pouring my positive energies into an honourable purpose and becoming a person of impact for good.”

The charitable endeavours are “bloody hard work”, he tells me...

From a positively glowing profile of the saint-like philantropist Ben Cohen in The Times - he has an autobiography out, Carry Me Home.

So let's take this opportunity to look at the last accounts of the Ben Cohen StandUp Foundation available to view online.

Last US accounts (Guidestar 2013):

Incoming revenue $335,000 (circa £200,000).

Grants given out $108,000 (circa £75,000).

Last UK accounts (UK Charity Commission 2012).

Income £107,000.

Grants given out £6,800.

£107,000 - £7,000 = £100,000 a year.


Depending on exchange rates that's about £80,000 in grants from £300,000 raised.

He got a $235,000 gift from Nike [p.15] for... taking his pants off in Attitude, one must presume.


As ever Fagburn invites the Foundation to comment on these - perhaps I have mis-read them.

PS Bad news ladies - there's no Ben Cohen 2016 calender, as the 'rugby hunk' is a bit fat and wobbly at the moment.

Well, that would be a bit embarrassing if you've set yourself up as an 'anti-bullying campaigner'.

'Cuddly Ben' has previous for harrassing her mother.

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