Twice world champion boxer Nigel Benn talks to congregation at Victory Centre in Grimsby
TWICE world champion boxer turned 'follower of God', Nigel Benn, made an emotive speech to church-goers in Grimsby.
Benn, known as the Dark Destroyer during his time in the ring, visited the Victory Centre on Moody Lane to talk to the congregation about marriage – delivering a message he feels is directly from God.
The 'I'm A Celebrity' star told the Grimsby Telegraph he believes he has found his true calling and confessed he was never happy during his career as the best middleweight boxer in the world.
He said: "I am truly blessed. I do not have the most elequent of tongues and yet Jesus has chosen me to deliver his message, despite the life I used to lead. To be able to give people his message truly is a blessing. I have more joy doing this than I ever did boxing.
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"When I was boxing it was all about me. This is all about other people."
As well as fame within the ring, Benn made a name for himself for antics in his personal life – including drug abuse – a lifestyle he has never tried to hide from the media spotlight.
But the Dark Destoyer saw the light and turned his back on his hell-raising days as super-middleweight king.
Now living in Spain with his wife Caroline, Benn gave a frank account of his marriage troubles, including his various affairs over a 16-year period.
The couple say finding Jesus helped them through their troubles and they now use the experience to help others.
He continued: "My life was full of sex, drugs and rock and roll gangsters. I cheated on my wife for 16 years but Jesus changed me and now he is using me to spread his word.
"Everyone has marital problems but I am here to give them good news. You only get through these problems because of Jesus, there is no other way. If I didn't have him in my life we would have never got through it. We would have got divorced.
"I was twice world champion but did I profit from it? Was I happy? No! I had everything, I couldn't get any higher up in my career but I still wasn't happy. Now I am ready to stand and spread God's word and that is the most beautiful thing. Life for me can't get any better now."
His appearance drew a large crowd to the Victory Centre, which is steadily growing in congregation numbers.
Founder Wendy Hawkins said: "Nigel has brought some good news to the town, which is what Grimsby needs. It is good to know people who are famous still have a strong faith in God. It is so exciting to have Jesus in our lives and more people are discovering that. The church is growing all the time."
Victory Centre members meet every Sunday at 5pm and all are welcome.
The Victory Centre is hosting a Healing For Spirit And Body event on Sunday, September 23, from 5pm and Monday, September 24, from 7pm. For more information contact Wendy on 07801 350160.