Ben Cohen is a former English rugby union player who won the Rugby World Cup with his country in 2003. His uncle, George Cohen, the English footballer most known for leading England to World Cup victory in 1966, died on Friday, December 23, at the age of 83.
Ben Christopher Cohen, MBE , born 14 September 1978, is a former rugby player and activist from England. He began his professional career in 1996 with Northampton Saints before moving to France to represent Brive in 2007 before returning to England two years later to join Sale Sharks.
Cohen was born in the town of Northampton. He attended Kingsthorpe Upper School. He began playing with Northampton Old Scouts RFC at the age of 12.
Ben is clinically deaf, with approximately 30% to 33% hearing loss in each ear, and has been active in attempts to make rugby more accessible to the deaf, particularly young deaf players.
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Family, uncle George Cohen
Cohen married Abby Blayney in 2003 and the couple have twin daughters. The couple split in March 2016 after being apart since 2014. Hello magazine stated on November 13, 2022, that Cohen and Kristina Rihanoff, who had a daughter together in 2016, were engaged to be married.
Ben’s paternal uncle George Reginald Cohen MBE was a right-back in English professional football. He completed his whole professional career with Fulham and helped England win the 1966 World Cup.
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Cohen’s father, Peter Cohen, brother of George Cohen, was killed in November 2000 while sheltering an attack victim at the Eternity nightclub in Northampton, which he ran. He died a month later as a result of the assault’s brain injuries. Three males were convicted of violent behaviour.
About his family, he stated “My family’s not Jewish, but a few generations back they used to be. I think it was my great-grandfather that married a non-Jewish girl and broke with tradition,” told one publication.
Rugby World Cup
Cohen was a member of the England side that won the Rugby World Cup in 2003. The tournament opened with Australia defeating Argentina 24-8 at Sydney’s Stadium Australia. Australia then defeated New Zealand 22-10 in the semi-finals to get to the final against England. Along with a try by Jason Robinson, Jonny Wilkinson booted four penalties and a drop-goal in extra time to help England win the Webb Ellis Cup for the first time.
Ben has an estimated net worth of $150 Million.
In 2011, Cohen launched The Ben Cohen StandUp Foundation, Inc., which is, according to its website, “the world’s first foundation dedicated to raising awareness of the long-term, damaging effects of bullying, and funding those doing real-world work to stop it”. Following his retirement, he stated that he will devote his time to the Foundation.