Sporting Legends Profiles

Paul Merson

Paul is an Arsenal legend turned Sky commentator. The start of Merson’s senior football career truly began for The Gooners after transferring from a brief loan spell at Brentford.

He was soon a regular player and voted PFA Young Player of the Year. After his run at Arsenal where he played 423 times scoring 99 goals he transferred to Middlesbrough where he helped the club into the Premier League before moving to Aston Villa and later Portsmouth and Walsall.

Paul is now most well known for his appearances on Soccer Saturday and his impressive after dinner speeches.

Frank Bruno

Frank Bruno is one of the most popular sportsmen in the country, a boxing legend and a larger than life character. Following a short but very successful amateur career, Frank became a professional boxer in 1982 starting with 21 consecutive wins by knockout. Competing in very much a golden era for heavyweight boxing, through his career Frank fought legends such as Joe Bugner, Tim Witherspoon, James "Bonecrusher" Smith, Lennox Lewis and most famously, in Las Vegas against Mike Tyson - capturing the hearts of the British nation.

Following three brave but ultimately unsuccessful attempts at a world title, Frank's dream was finally realised in 1994 at Wembley Stadium against reigning WBC title holder American Oliver McCall - the people's champion finally became a World Champion!

Away from Boxing, Frank's enduring popularity has enabled him to work very successfully in Panto, TV, advertising and on the sporting speaker circuit. In 2003, Frank was diagnozed with Bipolar disorder, his well documented illness putting Frank in the public eye and he has used this media attention to help with the stigma attached to mental health issues.

Frank supports many charities for mental health on an ongoing basis. Frank is the father of 4 children and was awarded the MBE in 1990.

Phil Tufnell

Having made 42 test match appearances for England it would be fair to assume that Tuffers would be known mainly for his cricketing skills but since his retirement in 2002 Phil has embarked on a successful career away from the field, most notably being crowned King of the Jungle just a year later. This success laid the foundation for a host of TV work including his current position as a regular team captain on BBC's Question of Sport.

Tuffers has also been involved in book publishing and is a regular on BBC Test Match Specials cricket coverage. A true character his mischievous nature is plain to see whether on screen or off

Henry Bolfeld


A Test Match Special stalwart for over 40 years, Blowers is widely recognised as a commentary box legend. 

Henry was educated at Eton College and then Cambridge University, for whom he played 17 First Class matches against players such as Dennis Compton and great Australian all rounder Keith Miller

After a short spell in merchant banking, in 1962 Blowers moved into sports journalism, reporting for the likes of The Times and The Guardian, before joining the Test Match Special radio commentary team in 1972.

Away from commentating on cricket across the world, Blowers has written 15 books since 1970 and 14 years ago, branched into theatre shows and after dinner speaking.
Blowers is an acclaimed speaker. Cricket forms a significant part of his show, full of humorous anecdotes relating to legendary players, tours and tales from the commentary box. However Blowers will also talk about his extraordinary life and the fascinating people he has bumped into along the way. Having lunch with James Bond author Ian Fleming in Jamaica (his family name used for one of the Bond books chief villains Ernst Blofeld) being just one of a multitude of stories.

Everywhere he has gone, on countless cricket tours around the world, Blowers has lived life to the full, regarding each day as an orange and squeezing it dry of the last drop of juice before moving onto the next day. He is a medical freak having defied a heart by-pass operation which went horribly wrong, a gall bladder that behaved like a deprived monster and picking up the dreaded MRSA along the way. Since then, back and hip operations have followed two-a-penny, but all have been submerged by guffaws of laughter and bottles of Burgundy (both red and white) and life still goes on in capital letters. Blowers has always been and continues to be outrageous and irresistible fun!


As a youngster, Ardiles played football in the streets and was given the nickname "Pitón" (python) by his brother because of his snake-like dribbling skills. He began his professional career in Argentina with Instituto de Córdoba, playing also for Club Atlético Belgrano and Huracán. After the 1978 World Cup he moved to England to play for Tottenham where he spent four seasons.

He helped Tottenham win the FA Cup in his third season there (1980-81), and collaborated with pop duo Chas and Dave as well as the rest of the Tottenham players for a song - "Ossie's Dream" - in which he famously pronounced Tottenham as "Tottingham". He played a big part in another FA Cup triumph the following year, but did not play in the final because it had already been arranged with the Spurs management that he would leave early to join up with Argentina's 1982 World Cup squad.

In the wake of the Falklands War between Britain and Argentina it became hard for him to return to White Hart Lane and he went on loan to Paris Saint Germain in France. After just one season in Paris, he returned to Tottenham, helping the club to win the UEFA Cup in 1984. In the autumn of 1987, he was caretaker manager of Tottenham between the resignation of David Pleat and the appointment of Terry Venables. He left Spurs in 1988.

He then played for Blackburn Rovers, Queens Park Rangers F.C. and Swindon Town F.C., before being appointed as manager of Swindon Town in July 1989. He played part of the 1989 American Soccer League season with the Fort Lauderdale Strikers.

On 7 February 2008 Ossie Ardiles, along with his fellow countryman Ricky Villa, was inducted into the Tottenham Hotspur Hall of Fame.

Ossie is now a regular on the “An Evening With” circuit and is even available for bookings alongside other well known Tottenham Hotspur legends.

Ossie Ardiles

Monty Panesar


The cult hero is a veteran of 50 test matches during which he took 167 wickets. One of England's best ever spin bowlers if perhaps not one of it's best fielders, he was part of the heroic last wicket stand with James Anderson that saved the first Ashes test in Cardiff in 2009. Originally a medium paced bowler, Monty switched to spin bowling aged 16 on the advice of Northamptonshire coaching staff Paul Taylor. In his breakthrough season with Northamptonshire, Monty took 51 county championship wickets which effectively earned him his first England call up.

Monty made his test match debut in 2006 in India, his first test wicket being legendary batsman Sachin Tendulkar and he followed this up with 5 wicket hauls in test matches against Sri Lanka and Pakistan the following summer. In 2007 against The West Indies at Old Trafford, Monty became the first English spinner to take 10 wicket in a test match since Phil Tufnell 10 years previously. 

A successful Ashes winning tour of Australia in 2006/2007 followed, with Monty famously taking 5 for 92 from 24 overs in Perth with Justin Langer, Andrew Symonds and Adam Gilchrist among his wickets.

With anecdotes featuring his England colleagues, touring memories and clashes with the Aussies, Monty is great fun and excellent value in the Q and A environment, offering  his story of how he became one of the England's best ever spinners, in the number one test team in the world.

Tino Best


Tino Best brought qualities to the West Indies bowling attack that had been missing for too long. Confident and energetic, the 5 foot 8 inch Best carries the fight until the very end.

Famed for his abrasive style, Tino is a deeply religious man off the field and one of the game’s fiercest competitors on it. He launches his autobiography in 2016 this titled “Mind the Windows”, a phrase that has stayed with him since he was sledged by Andrew Flintoff during the West Indies tour of England in 2004, although he proved his batting abilities with 95 at Edgbaston in 2012. Tino is available during the 2016 for Q and A and book signing sessions.

Gordon Greenidge


For 20 years the personification of West Indies cricket, GG’s stroke play was brooding and massively destructive. His brutal 214 at Lords in 1984, to set up a nine-wicket win after England had the temerity to declare, is considered one of his greatest innings.

With Desmond Haynes, Gordon formed what was by a distance the most enduring and prolific test match opening partnership of them all, with 16 century stands four of them in excess of 200, Greenidge also enjoyed a long and distinguished career with Hampshire.

Imagine for a second being a county bowler during the 1970s, checking the fixture list to see when you’re playing Hampshire and working out how you can fake an injury to avoid having to bowl to Gordon Greenidge and his then opening partner Barry Richards!

GG, as well as being an integral member of Lashings family, is a highly regarded cricket speaker. A real gentleman, who engages his audience and brings them into his story.


“The Romford” Pele began his professional Arsenal career in 1992 under George Graham and blossomed as a player under the tutelage of Arsene Wenger. Ray was a member of the 1998 double winning side playing alongside the likes of Bergkamp, Wright and Viera. He was man of the match in the 1998 FA Cup final and scored the winning goal himself in the final 4 years later against Chelsea, a 25 yard wonder goal at Cardiff’s Millennium Stadium.

As a result of his fine and consistent performances for Arsenal, Ray went on to win 10 caps for England between 1999 and 2000.

Having secured his second double in 2002, Ray departed Arsenal in 2004, shortly after Wenger’s “Invincibles” had completed an unbeaten title campaign. Ray signed for Middlesbrough and stayed there until 2007, before moving to Hull City for a short period at the end of his career.

Ray is currently a regular on Talksport Radio and Sky Sports and is fast becoming one of the most popular speakers on the after dinner circuit.

Ray Parlour

Micky Hazard


Born and raised in Sunderland, Micky was spotted at aged 14 by a scout from Tottenham Hotspur, joined the youth squad as an apprentice at 16 and made his professional debut for the club in 1980 aged 20.

He was a member of the 1982 FA Cup and 1984 UEFA Cup winning teams, where his crosses led to goals in both legs against Anderlecht.

Micky was transferred to Chelsea in 1985 for £300,000 and would remain at the club for the next 5 years, winning the 1986 Full Members cup along the way.

Micky had further spells at Portsmouth, Swindon and then was signed back to Tottenham by Ossie Ardiles in 1993.

Micky is now a firm regular on the speaking circuit, very popular for engagements alongside other Spurs legends such as Ossie Ardiles, Ricardo Villa and Graham Roberts.


Ricardo Villa will always be most fondly remembered in the UK

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