Sport is much more than just a game. It teaches you about life. Each week on Benched, we bring you the human stories often sidelined from sport.
Channeling the inspiring, harrowing, or just downright absurd - every episode offers insight into the unexpected ways sport shapes lives. From the goalkeeper who was saved from genocide because of football to the poker player who smashed the glass ceiling of professional gambling, we tell stories that remind us how powerful sport can be.
With a new guest host each week, Benched brings you honest interviews with exceptional humans from across the worlds of boxing, football, skiing and more. Join these trailblazers and underdogs every Thursday on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you get your podcasts.
Each episode, our subjects are interviewed by a guest host who has a unique understanding of their story and background: goalkeeper to goalkeeper, Ghanian to Ghanian, feminist to feminist. Season one hosts include:
Episode SIX season one
THE HOUSE ALWAYS WINS? - Cat Hulbert has been called the best female gambler on earth. During her decades-long career, she played at the highest level of blackjack and poker shattering the glass ceiling of professional gambling in the process. Today she joins presenter and broadcaster Charlie Webster to share her story.
Episode fIVE season one
OUT ON THE PITCH - After being accidentally outed in 2014, Liam Davis became the only openly gay male footballer in Britain. Despite media knocking down his door, he has remained firmly focused on football and has spoken widely about how accepting the community has been. He spoke to journalist Jasmine Andersson about what it means to be gay in football.
EPISODE FOUR SEASON ONE
IS ALI DIA A LIAR? - In 1996, Southampton’s manager received a phone call from someone claiming to be footballing legend George Weah recommending the signing of his cousin. For 43 minutes, Ali Dia lived out the fantasy of millions by playing Premiership football, albeit not very well, before vanishing forever. Guest host Robbie Knox (Soccer AM) gets the story from Kelly Naqi, a journalist who made it her mission to uncover the mystery.
EPISODE THREE SEASON ONE
THE SHOW LEOPARD - In 2010, Ghanaian athlete Kwame Nkrumah-Acheampong defied the odds and made it to the Vancouver Winter Olympics on a bet. And the legend of The Snow Leopard was born. Hear his story of hard-won success with guest host Carl Anka.
EPISODE Two SEASON ONE
BOXINGS BIGGEST LOSER - British boxing professional, Johnny Greaves, fought 100 fights throughout his career and lost 96 of them – and he’s proud of it. In this episode hear from of Boxing’s biggest loser about why it pays not to win. Guest host is sports writer, Mark Turley.
EPISODE ONE SEASON ONE
SAVED BY THE BEAUTIFUL GAME - Eric Murangwa was a goalkeeper for Rwanda's biggest team, Rayon Sports, when the genocide began in 1994. As part of the persecuted Tutsi minority, he tells the story of how football, and his Hutu teammates, helped save him from near certain death. Guest host for this episode is fellow goalkeeper David Preece.