Ben Dobson is a 54 year-old whose life has been dominated sport - playing, watching, supporting, collecting, debating, studying and then working in sport. After gaining a degree in Sports Science at Loughborough University he began his career with a small sports company in Oldham in 1989, before joining the world's leading sports brand, adidas, where over 25 years he managed partnerships with many sports clubs and federations and a large number of individual athletes as well as having the opportunity to be personally involved in some of the greatest sporting moments.
He has enjoyed working with the likes of David Gower, Gary Lineker, Paul Gascoigne, Malcolm Marshall, Daley Thompson, Maro Itoje, Stuart Broad, Kevin Pietersen, George North, Anthony Yarde and others.
Although a new author he has previously had freelance articles published in magazines such as The Cricketer and All Out Cricket. At the start of 2021 he left adidas to set up his own sports consultancy driven by the vision that 'sport has the power to change lives', and to give something back, and also to dedicate more time to writing.
Ben is country-loving and splits life between the Peak District and The Chilterns with wife Mary and gun-dog Lex. He remains, against his better judgement, a committed follower of Southampton FC, Manchester United and the England rugby and cricket teams. Other than sport, his loves are Mary and Lex, reading history, good wine and the camaraderie of the village pub.
Ben's first book has a publication date of 28th April 2022. CHASING RAINBOWS - From Innocence to Purgatory and Redemption as a Compulsive Sports Fan, is a memoir of a life following sport which may strike a chord with similarly afflicted sports addicts. The foreword is written by England cricketer Stuart Broad.
There are a lot of books about sport. I know this because I think I've read most of them. Many are written by, or about, those who DID , the people who had the talent, those who made it and told the rest of us what it was like. But there are far more of us who COULDN'T and DIDN'T. We watched, we followed and let's be honest, we pretended on the beaches, fields and playgrounds of our youth, and sometimes just in our own heads, that we were them. Some of us still do. And the truth for us is that our lives became every bit as defined by sport as did those of the people good enough to play it. They have no monopoly on the reality that sport can dominate a life. In retirement they then sell us back their stories. So for the rest of us here's mine. And perhaps yours too.
I have tried to convince myself on many occasions that I'm past all this now and that in reflective middle-age I can develop a healthier relationship with sport. But I have no illusions any more. I'm an obsessive follower of sport and specifically English sport and for fifty-odd years I've attempted to use this as a shield against the realities of life. That English sport has only occasionally offered its devotees anything other than pain, frustration and heartbreak means I now accept this was never going to be a very effective tactic. This book is for all those who recognise this condition and have ever had their mood ruined for a day, a week, a month or a year, to a totally inappropriate extent, by their addiction to their teams or their heroes and by some perceived sporting 'disaster'