World Cup winner, Ben Cohen, has ended his rugby career to focus on charity work. The winger, 32, who scored 31 tries in 57 tests for England, turned down contract offers from both England and France. He will devote his time to set up the Ben Cohen StandUp Foundation which aims to tackle homophobia and bullying.
Cohen said: ‘ To be honest, I would never have imagined my career was going to move in this direction after my professional rugby career, but here we are – it’s happening.
‘ I’ve reached the top in my sport. It has been an incredible journey and has put me in the privileged position I’m in today to be able to work on these exciting new projects through the ‘StandUp’ Brand. As athletes, it’s not enough just to have strong bodies. We must have strong characters and use our voices to support those who need and deserve it.’
In recent years, Cohen has developed his role as a supporter of equality. Rugby will be the vehicle in this latest venture, directed at helping those in the LGBT community who are struggling to come to terms with their sexuality. Cohen is US bound on what is marked an Acceptance Tour visiting Atlanta, New York, Washington and Seattle to work with gay and gay friendly clubs to raise funds and promote the anti-bullying message.