John Barnes MBE

John Barnes MBE

John Barnes is widely regarded as one of the top club players in the world. He won two league titles and two cup finals with Liverpool, was a FA Cup runner-up with Watford, Liverpool and Newcastle United, and earned 79 international cups for England.

After retiring from playing football, Jamaican-born John became a club manager for a short time, before becoming an author, presenter and commentator for the likes of ESPN and SuperSports.

For his talent alone, he is an automatic choice for any hall of fame, but his impact on the game went far beyond goals and trophies. John was the first high-profile black player to grace Anfield in the 1980s, a time when racial abuse echoed around stadia. Along with fellow black footballers Lawrie Cunningham, Cyril Regis and Viv Anderson, John was a catalyst for change.

John is now a highly sought-after public speaker for awards ceremonies and business conferences, talking about football, presenting and racism.

Contact Great British Speakers today to book footballing legend John Barnes for your next event.

Type Of Speaker


I invited John along to speak about his experiences of racism both on and off the pitch. We were pleasantly surprised at how authentic he was about his experiences and how he spoke more widely around discrimination and unconscious bias.
Karim, Schroders Personal Wealth

John is a great guy, extremely funny, personable and made us all think with the content of his keynote speech. He was happy to pose for photos 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.
Yvonne, Group Support Manager, Clearsprings Group

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.
Claire, Alcon Eye Care

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.
Deutsche Bank

I asked John if he minded diving straight in, he was more than happy with this and provided a great opening, describing his early years, his famous background and how he came to live in England. He also echoed much of the philosophy we coach here, which was fantastic as we’d not had a chance to brief him on that, it was all very natural and spontaneous.
Private Event

We worked with John for the launch of our £2.90 Caribbean Campaign for Western Union. John was a real asset, charming, enthusiastic, friendly and a real crowd-pleaser. We had huge crowds, many who had seen John’s tweets a few days before. The campaign won two awards, John’s efforts and personality were a big reason for this. If anyone is looking for a celebrity/personality to be a part of their campaign, I would 100% recommend John, you won’t be disappointed, he is down to earth and will go above and beyond.
Oliver Burgoyne, House of Experience

Similar Talent

  • Globally Respected Rugby Coach
  • Wales, British and Irish Lions Ream
  • Director Of Rugby at the Waikato Chiefs
  • Highly Transferable Skills Business Environment
  • Creative Director
  • Innovation and Creativity For Business
  • Strategies for Success
  • Signature Keynote
  • Spanish and English Speaking Host/Presenter/MC
  • 25 Years Experience
  • Guided Over 1000 Events
  • Client List Includes McDonald’s, Schweppes and Universal Studios
  • Property Expert
  • Travel/Lifestyle
  • Host/Compere
  • After Dinner Speaker