SHEFFIELD’S much loved sports broadcaster Seth Bennett used to introduce after dinner speakers - now he’s the special guest himself at a fund-raiser for St Luke’s Hospice.
He will be talking about his encounters with everyone from David Beckham and Pele to Neil Warnock.
And he is promising to tell how he ended up in a hot tub in the early hours with John Pearson and Paul Sturrock.
VIDEO: Press the play button to watch Seth interviewed by The Star’s digital editor Graham Walker.
Seth, who made his name covering the Sheffield Steelers on Radio Sheffield, now broadcasts on BBC Radio 5 Live and the BBC World Service - which often gets over 65 million listeners
Last year he reported from the Paralympics and he voiced the commentary on the official London 2012 Olympics computer game for Sega. In January he was reporting from the The Africa Cup Of Nations.
He’d love to do a Winter Olympics version and his own ambitions include reporting from the games in Sochi early next year, then the World Cup in Brazil and Rio for the 2016 Olympics.
Seth, who started out as a volunteer on children’s hospital radio, will be sharing anecdotes and telling his own story, to inspire other budding sports journalists, at Hallamshire Round Table’s Sportsmen’s Evening in aid of St Luke’s Hospice, at the Holiday Inn, West Bawtry Road, Rotherham, on Thursday, at 7.30pm.
Tickets, including a three course dinner and raffle, are £30. Call Chris, at Hallamshire Round Table, on 07939 062401 or Fran, at St Luke’s, on 0114 2357556.
He told The Star: “It’s amazing and a bit funny that people are interested in your stories and what you’ve done, rather than telling stories about other people. I’ll be talking about my experiences of other people and how they are. Whether that’s sitting in a room with David Beckham, in the studio with Pele, working with the likes of Neil Warnock and how John Pearson and I ended up in a hot tub with Paul Sturrock at 1am in the morning.
“All of a sudden I’m not worried about the notes any more, or following somebody else’s schedule. May be I will be introducing myself - they’ve not told me quite yet as to what is going to happen.
“I’ll be sharing a few stories of what’s happened over the past 15-years of my time following South Yorkshire sports. There’s so many great characters and it will be a good opportunity for me to reminisce.
“I’ve been a part of St Luke’s for the past 12 months as one of their patrons. It’s such a fantastic charity and a Sheffield institution.”
He added: “People say I’ve been very lucky. But I like to think it about timing and being in the right place at the right time.
“The last 12-months have been amazing and started in a studio in Barnsley, where I voiced all the lead commentary for the official London 2012 Olympics computer game for Sega. It went to the top of the computer games chart and I was getting calls from mates all over the world, saying they had heard my voice on it.
“I had no idea how big that was going to be until they asked me to also voice the TV ad campaign. I recorded that in an hour at a studio in London on my way back from a family holiday. It was fascinating. I’ve never done anything like that.
“It would be lovely to get involved doing a computer game for the Winter Olympics. There’s been some talk about that. It’s just such a massive undertaking for any company. But I certainly hope to go to Sochi and fulfil an ambition, to actually commentate on an Olympic final on BBC TV. I didn’t do any live commentary from London 2012. I did from the Paralympics.
“What a four years that would be, to go to Sochi to do the Winter Olympics in 2014, then Brazil for the World Cup and go to Rio for the 2016 Olympics there. That would be a nice four-year plan, wouldn’t it?”
And his advice to others starting out wanting to be the next Seth Bennett?
“It’s an amazing job. My advice to anyone wanting to do it is to take your opportunities and never say no. If you are passionate about it, you have a chance,’’ he says.
“I had a number of people telling me my voice wasn’t good enough, my writing wasn’t strong enough and that I had no chance of making it.
“Over the years I had that conversation with more than one person. But, I thought, that’s their opinion. And it’s a game of opinions whereby I don’t need everyone to like me. When you’re starting out you’re not going to be on Match Of The Day. You have to get that grounding first and it’s stood me in good stead for what I’ve gone on to do.”