Ian Stafford


Ian Stafford is a recognised sports writer, author of 15 published books and regular sports broadcaster on both TV and radio. Having covered major sporting events across the world for the previous 25 years and interviewed some of sport’s best-known figures, Ian is well versed in all that goes on in the sports industry. During his time as a radio presenter on talkSPORT he has enjoyed the unique opportunity to speak with some of the finest athletes of all time, interviewing the likes of Sir Steve Redgrave, David Coulthard MBE, Michael Johnson, Tim Henman OBE and England rugby coach Eddie Jones on his feature show Talking 2.

Ian has additionally hosted two major sporting lunches throughout April and May, with Eddie Jones and Sir Steve Redgrave respectively, featuring a forty minute Q&A with them as well as short round table interviews with other sports stars present. Additionally, Ian has also chaired/hosted a one hour discussion panel taking place at the Oval in May, at the Powerbrands Global Conference. Ian’s section focussed on Corporate Social Responsibility.

One of the most sought-after speakers that you can get, Ian Stafford truly is a brilliant addition to any event, conference or function.

As a journalist Ian has worked for The Independent, The Times, The Mail on Sunday (as Chief Sports Reporter) and The Daily Express amongst many other publications. An award-winning journalist, he has twice been named Magazine Sports Writer of the Year, voted Sports Reporter of the Year and been commended twice as Sports Interviewer of the Year to name just a few of his incredible accomplishments.

Ian is a passionate writer, so it comes as no surprise that he is an author of 15 books, including World Cup 2003, The Official Account Of The England Rugby Team’s 2003 World Cup Victory, Ashes Fever looking into England’s 2005 Ashes triumph and Toughing It Out, the autobiography of renowned explorer David Hempleman-Adams.

Ian’s book Playgrounds of the Gods, an international bestseller, saw him take a journey around the world to play with and against some of the best teams and players in their respective sports. During a fatiguing nine months, Ian trained alongside some of the greatest sportsmen in the world so as to gain a better understanding of what their sport involves at the very highest level.

Playing seven sports, in seven countries with seven famous individuals or sporting teams, Ian rowed in the UK with Sir Steve Redgrave and Sir Matthew Pinsent, played football in Brazil with Flamengo FC, boxed against Roy Jones Junior in the USA and played cricket with the Australian team led by Steve Waugh to name just four.

His follow up book, In Your Dreams, saw Ian travel around the UK to play with and against some of the best teams and individuals. As part of this, Ian played rugby union with the Leicester Tigers, football with Everton FC, ran the 60 metres at the televised Norwich Union Indoor Grand Prix and drove with Eddie Irvine and the Jaguar F1 team.

Other publications include In Search of the Tiger which followed Ian’s year long journey from a non-golfer to 15-handicapper through the help of a number of the sport’s top names including Nick Faldo, Jack Nicklaus and Justin Rose and Who Do You Think You Are… Michael Schumacher? which explores his mission to prove to his wife that he is up there with the very finest drivers in the world. After travelling around the world to the likes of Monaco, Schumacher’s home town and the USA, Ian then pits his driving skills in a race against the man himself, Michael Schumacher.

Ian has combined decades of experience writing, reporting and being a TV personality to become an incredible after dinner speaker. His most recent work was as a host for the Rugby 2015 tour when he hosted four sell-out shows, which were refreshing and reflected well his passion for sport. The tour was hosted with the late Jonah Lomu and his special guest Martin Johnson. In September 2016, Ian will be a roaming reporter at several high profile events with the well-known football legend Pele.

Ian is a hugely popular sports speaker and event host having led talks up and down the UK and abroad. Recent appearances include hosting the annual Waitrose/Grocery Aid sports quiz, fronting an evening with Kevin Keegan at the Hilton, Newcastle – including a Q&A and auction and hosting the RAC Club’s annual Rugby Dinner with guest Mike Tindall in Pall Mall.

Ian has also chaired a public discussion at SportsHackTag, the first European digital innovation conference in the sports world held at the Emirates Stadium. His session included the Event Director of the ATP World Tour Finals, the Head of Digital at CONI (Italian Olympic Committee) and the Chief Digital Officer at Sports Network.

Ian is the Chairman of the London Sporting Club. In 2017 he had hosted lunches with Eddie Jones, Sir Steve Redgrave, Kumar Sangakkara, David Coulthard, Sam Allardyce as well as big business breakfasts with International Cricket Council CEO David Richardson and World Rugby CEO Brett Gosper. He also hosted the Legends Ball at the Jumeirah Carlton Towers Hotel in Knightsbridge in September. Upcoming events include lunches with Dame Katherine Grainger, Dame Kelly Holmes and Dame Laura Davies, Sir Clive Woodward, Andrew Strauss, Sam Warburton and Lord Sebastian Coe, as well as a business breakfast with Barry Hearn. And an evening with Stuart Lancaster in Ireland.

To book Ian Stafford to make a personal appearance at your corporate event, function or conference, simply contact the Champions Speakers agency by emailing agent@championsukplc.com or by calling a booking agent directly on 0207 1010 553.

Ian talks to Jonny Herbert in front of an audience at Blackwells, Hoburn:

Ian talks to Sugar Ray Leonard in front of an audience at the Cafe Royal:

“Ian Stafford chaired an event for Transworld, Penguin Random House, with ex-F1 driver and Sky Sports presenter Johnny Herbert, to launch his book ‘What Doesn’t Kill You…’He was an excellent chair – funny, engaging and brilliant at showing off Johnny. He was very professional throughout the whole experience, going above and beyond what was expected, and I wouldn’t hesitate to use him again – he truly made the evening a success.” – Becky Hunter, Transworld Publishers

“After arriving on the day at the Jumeirah Carlton Tower and initially planning on our head of media compering the morning’s event with Andrew “Chubby” Chandler, I met Ian Stafford who was happy to take on the duty. After 5 minutes into the Q&A, I knew we’d struck gold. Ian captured the room immediately, asking all the right questions in the perfect manner; as well as adapting accordingly dependant on Chubby’s responses.

The highly corporate and senior level audience were captivated by the insight, which had a mix of both knowledge and humour, with some incredibly funny moments. The balance between interviewer and the guest was perfect and created a very relaxed and entertaining morning for the corporate audience. 

I would have no issue in highly recommending Ian for future events.” – Joel Birks, International Sports Management Ltd

“Ian kindly hosted one of our Sportsman’s Dinners at Coventry Rugby Club recently.  He was extremely professional in his work, witty and obviously had a wealth of experience dealing with sports personalities.  We’d definitely like him to host again!” – Nick Newbold, Managing Director, HIA International Ltd

“We selected Ian Stafford as moderator for the opening conference of SportHackTag that took place at the Emirates Stadium on the 24th of May. Ian behaved in a really professional manner, organising, alongside us, the management of the conference and studying the various issues to talk about with the other two speakers. The questions were always punctual and precise, giving the conference the fluidity necessary to attract the attention of the participants. He managed the timing of interventions precisely, guaranteeing a continuity of issues that allowed the conference to be successful. Ian has been a model professional and we are really glad to have chosen him.” – SportHackTag, European Sports Digital Marketing Conference

“Ian Stafford has compered and hosted a number of high profile events for the OPUS Media Group, including the launch of various OPUS publications. He has always been thoroughly professional and entertaining, and has dealt with, among other duties, the chairing of questions and answer sessions with the likes of Bernie Ecclestone, Stirling Moss and John Surtees, with consummate ease.” – Andrew Clay, Publishing Director, OPUS

“Ian hosted our fundraising lunch in aid of the NSPCC with over two hundred guests from businesses across Manchester in attendance, interviewing our special guest and star of world cricket, Michael Vaughan and even managing to get Manchester City legend Francis Lee in on the act with an impromptu interview.

Ian also hosted our charity auction, doing a fantastic job raising much needed funds for the charity. I’d wholeheartedly recommend Ian as a host, interviewer or auctioneer and his sporting knowledge is second to none.” – Laura Wolfe, Managing Director, Journey9

“Ian Stafford facilitated at my testimonial dinner as a very accomplished mc. he was very funny, informative and professional and I wouldn’t hesitate in using him again. his duties included making announcements and introductions, and interviewing myself and various England and Leicester rugby players, and his efforts played a major part in the evening being a great success.” – Lewis Moody, Former England Rugby Captain

“We have used Ian Stafford on many occasions at the jaguar academy of sport as a host and compere where he has acted also as the chair of a question and answer session involving tennis celebrities such as greg rusedski and todd martin and, at another event, involving lee westwood, michael vaughan and mark cueto where he also served as the auctioneer. we are always happy to turn to him to host and compere jaguar-related functions in the knowledge that it will be carried out very professionally.” – Claire Boakes, Sport Sponsorship Manager, Jaguar Academy Of Sport

“We have used Ian Stafford for a number of our mailconnected sports club events. He has acted as both mc and as a panel member. Ian is always extremely professional, and any events he has been involved in are always lively! His knowledge of the sporting world is fantastic, and he has a black book second to none.” – Marcus Rich, Commercial Managing Director, Dmg Media

“Ian Stafford has hosted and compered on our behalf at the santander paddock hospitality club for the past 5 years over the three day British grand prix at Silverstone. His duties include announcements, introductions, the running of various competitions and interviewing on stage the likes of Fernando Alonso, lewis hamilton, Felipe Massa, Jenson button and other f1 drivers. He also conducts on stage interviews at the Santander chairman’s British GP dinner with the likes of Button and Rory Mcilroy. Throughout this time he has been thoroughly professional, entertaining and consummately relaxed in the way he handles an ever-changing challenge and we always know that this area is in extremely safe hands. ”Nav Sidhu, Founder And Managing Director, Sidhu & Simon Communications

“Ian Stafford has compered two high-profile evenings in London’s west end for us. The first, working with Slazenger, was staged in a well-known nightclub where Ian interviewed Jonathan ross and John McEnroe on stage and hosted the evening’s events. The second, at asics headquarters, saw Ian hosting a product launch event and interviewing a number of brand ambassadors, from Olympic athletes to rowers and cyclists. On both occasions Ian handled a busy and ever-changing schedule superbly and we will be looking to use him again very soon. ” – Mark Peacock, Director, Brandnation

“I am involved with sporting events and on a number of occasions I have asked ian to be the after dinner entertainment. He very bravely performed at the caledonian club on the occasion of the glasgow academy london section’s annual dinner. His banter with the scots was first class and all enjoyed listening to his sporting stories. He then performed to a much larger audience in the ballroom at wentworth on the day of the fluor pro am. This time his speech was in the form of commentary over the video of him taking part in various sporting events. It was simply superb, not too long but long enough to keep all in the room totally engrossed. Indeed when he had finished the audience wanted more which is always the sign of a good speaker. He combines sport with humour which is what appeals to many men and women and is someone who I could listen to over and over again. He also spoke at a charity event when a number of service personnel from headley court were enjoying a day out and an evening at wentworth. His tone and humility was just right for the occasion and I know by the look on their faces how he was able to bring some joy into their lives.” – David Rennie, Former Professional At Wentworth Gc And Wellington College Golf Staff.

“I’m Nick Boddy company director and member of the Thames valley grocery aid committee, a charity that benefits those from the industry who have fallen on hard times.

It is in the later capacity that I ‘m involved with Ian. As part of our annual fund raising we run a quiz night, which for the past three years Ian has hosted for us. Ian is a committed host, a very personable individual who works effectively to our brief and adds value in his interaction with the audience using his extensive personal knowledge, very detailed when it comes to sport, to ensure the event runs smoothly and that everyone has thoroughly enjoyable time. From my perspective, Ian comes highly recommended. ” – Nick Boddy Company Director And Member Of The Thames Valley Grocery Aid Committee