Fast bowler Henry Olonga played 30 Tests and 50 One Day Internationals for Zimbabwe between 1995 and 2003. He took 68 Test wickets at an average of 38.52 and was Man of the Match in two Tests against Pakistan and India. He was an average Test player but in 2003 hit the international headlines when he and his fellow countryman Andy Flower wore black armbands in the Cricket World Cup match against Namibia in Harare to protest against what they claimed was “the death of democracy in our beloved Zimbabwe”. Their action had severe consequences for Henry who received death threats. He went into exile and settled in England. Adrian Barnard spoke to Henry in 2009 about his cricket career, the 2003 World Cup protest and the faith that directs his life.
Midfielder Gavin Peacock played over 500 league games across a 17 year career between 1984 and 2001. He played 105 games for Newcastle scoring 35 goals and 103 times for Chelsea scoring 17 goals. From 1996-2001 he played over 180 times for Queens Park Rangers. After retirement he became a well-respected pundit on BBC’s Match of the Day before quitting in 2008 to train as a Christian minister in Canada. Today he is Pastor of the Calvary Grace Church in Calgary. In an interview recorded a few years ago Gavin talks to Stuart Weir about his football career and the faith that directs his life.
Graham Daniels signed for Cardiff City as a 16-year-old in the 1970s and played most of his career for Cambridge United in what is now the Championship and what was then the Second Division. He played on the left wing and memorably scored against a Newcastle United team boasting the likes of Glenn Roeder and Kevin Keegan. Injury forced him out of the professional game in his mid-20s but he went on to manage non-league clubs Histon and Cambridge City and he retains his interest in the sport today as a non-executive director of Cambridge United. Today he is General Director of Christians in Sport. Adrian Barnard talked to Graham about his life and career and began by asking where he was born and raised?
Crystal Palace goalkeeper Julian Speroni has played over 300 games for the South London club since joining from Dundee in 2004. He is one of the club’s most popular players and has won the Player of the Year award a record four times. His performances were instrumental in helping Palace’s promotion to the Premier League at the end of the 2012/13 season and again as the club retained their Premier League status in their first season back at the top flight. Speroni was born in Argentina and played one international for the Under-20 national side in 1998. Stuart Weir caught up with him to find out more about his career and his Christian faith.
Tu Nu’uali’itia played in two Rugby World Cups for Samoa in the 1990s. In 1991 he was part of the Samoa squad that memorably beat Wales 16-13 at the Cardiff Arms Park in what is still one of the biggest upsets in international rugby. In the 1995 World Cup quarter-finals he scored a try at Ellis Park against the eventual winners, South Africa. Tu talks to Adrian Barnard about his passion for the sport and the impact his faith has made on his life and rugby career.
Nick Farr-Jones led Australia to Rugby World Cup glory in 1991 as the Wallabies beat England 12-6 at Twickenham. During a ten year career from 1984-1993 the scrum-half from Sydney played a total of 63 times for Australia including 36 times as captain. At the height of his career he formed part of a feared trio with David Campese and Michael Lynagh. Adrian Barnard talked to Nick Farr-Jones about his career and faith and began by asking what went through his mind when he heard he’d been picked by the Australian selectors to make his 1984 debut against England?
Chris Jones was a rugby player from the South Wales valleys who hated losing. He’d do anything to win and his violent attitude often resulted in him being sent off. Eventually he was banned for life by the Welsh Rugby Union. Later he was reinstated but his attitude hadn’t changed and after being sent off again in a televised match he was banned for life for a second time. He got into a fight at the Brecon Jazz Festival and was arrested. While he was sitting in a prison cell he realised he had to change and invited Jesus Christ into his life. That was in the late 1980s and since then Chris hasn’t been in another fight. Today he’s a successful coach with youngsters in South Wales. Adrian Barnard talked to him about his remarkable life and began by asking what it’s like having the tag of being the only person in the history of world rugby to be banned for life twice?
Alex Dias Ribeiro had an eventful if undistinguished racing career. Born and raised in Belo Horizonte in Brazil, he built his first racing car and went on to compete in 20 Formula One Grand Prix for Hesketh and March but did not pick up any Championship points. His best result was finishing 8th in both the German and Canadian GP in 1977. In 1978 he set up a privately-owned F2 and won a dramatic race at the Nurburgring. His car was painted with the slogan ‘Jesus Saves’. At the Brazilian GP in 2002 he narrowly avoided serious injury when the open door of his medical car he had been driving was smashed into by Nick Heidfeld. He mentored the late Ayrton Senna and today he lives in Sao Paulo with Emerson Fittipaldi among his closest friends. Alex talks to Adrian Barnard about his motor racing career and faith.