Seamless Entertainment presents -Live at Medina Theatre June 25th-An Evening with Francis Benali MBE — Hosted by Presenter Kenzie Benali…

Speaking about his playing days against Alan Shearer, Ian Wright and David Beckham to pundit work with BT & Sky Sports to the “Iron man” challenges raising over £1m for Cancer Research UK…

Peter Moore
The Entertainment Engine
4 min readJun 30, 2022


Photo credit: Six Point Media — Francis Benali MBE

Putting on events can be a stressful time with so many variables going wrong at every stage of the planning process.

This wasn't one of those days, the event “An Evening with Francis Benali” from start to finish ran extremely well!

The idea from the outset was to deliver a show that captures the essence of Francis Benali’s football career going back to the start and coming up to the present day with his pundit work for BT & Sky Sports to all his charity endeavours raising over £1m for Cancer Research UK.

This type of event is something Francis hadn’t done before but loved the idea of an “up-close” and personal event within a theatre environment — so people could really understand the inner workings of the man they call — “Iron Fran”.

The VIP experience:

The night was set up in 3 areas the first was the arrival of the VIP guests who would have the opportunity to speak with Francis on a one-to-one basis, and have a photo taken with Francis on the red carpet, followed by him signing a personal item as a great keepsake for the VIP guests.

People also took the chance to have a picture with the host for the evening Kenzie Benali who is known for interviewing some of the biggest Sports Stars & regularly spotted presenting online content for Premier League football clubs Arsenal and Southampton.

‘’The evening went down really well in a relaxed environment’’

Photo credit Six Point Media — Francis Benali MBE & Host Kenzie Benali

Playing career:

The next area of the show was to speak about Franny’s playing career with Kenzie (the host) taking Francis on a journey exploring every aspect of his playing career.

Having played against the likes of; Ian Wright, David Beckham, and Alan Shearer legends in their own right, plus much more, this gives an insight into the player's mind and how he dealt with each player on and off the pitch over his 16-year playing career.

Q&A with Francis:

This was very interesting, with the audience putting questions to Francis, from all areas of his life and professional playing days — so many of the audience were ready to fire a question to the former professional and people didn’t disappoint with a variety of questions coming forward.

Who was the toughest opponent? What was your pre-match meal? Who was the best manager you played for? What advice would you give young players today?

Silent auction for — Wessex Cancer Trust:

The event was also in support of Wessex Cancer Trust to help raise awareness and visibility for the charity through a silent charity auction on the night with so many great items on offer to raise some funds for the charity from;

Signed shirts, footballs and books by Francis & Matt Le Tissier, Five car track day, John Legend in concert to a stay on a private Caribbean Island, Eyewear from Specsavers and spa products from Liz Earle plus so much more.

Photo credit: An Evening with Francis Benali — Hosted by presenter — Kenzie Benali

That’s a Wrap:

The evening ended with Kenzie finishing up the show with her dad walking off stage together with a big round of applause from the audience, who thoroughly enjoyed a great night of entertainment… with echoes of voices from the audience shouting “Legend Franny Benali’’

This must have take him back to his playing days at Southampton FC old homeground The Dell, with the supporters chanting in his ears.

About Francis Benali MBE:

Ask anyone involved with Southampton Football Club about Francis Benali and they’ll describe a loyal club legend. The former professional footballer and coach spent the majority of his 20 years playing career with the club.

After 389 games with Southampton Francis, or Franny as he’s more affectionately known, is still a fans’ favourite today, thanks to his commitment to the club, hardworking attitude and ferocious, full-blooded tackles.

Many fans will remember Franny playing through injuries to help the team, including famously playing on with a broken arm!

Francis appears regular on Sky Sports and BT Sport, providing well-informed opinions based on years of experience within football.

He offers a player’s perspective on key topics, providing punditry and commentary on some of the biggest teams and matches, as well of course when his own team Southampton are featured.

He is a regular on TalkSport radio and has enjoyed the lighter-hearted look at football when on the sofa with Sky’s Soccer AM.

By Pete Moore & Rebecca Gregory — Seamless Entertainment