York City Knights player, Ben Cockayne, tackles new role as Club Growth Manager

Former Super League Player Ben Cockayne, 35, who currently plays at York City Knights in the Championship has taken on another key position within the club, as their new Club Growth Manager. With 346 pro games under his belt and 129 tries, he is starting the transition from playing life to commercial life.  Whilst not quite ready to tackle full retirement, the new position is a firm nod to his future with the York City Knights and cements his dedication to remaining with the club long term.


The newly created role is a commercial position involving relationship building and focusing on partnership support.  Cockayne will build on his foundations as a player for the club to create opportunities with new and existing sponsors and partners, bringing them closer to the players than ever before.  Speaking of his new role, Cockayne says, “There are very exciting times ahead. Our promotion to the Betfred Championship will bring an increased level of teams, spectators and profile to the club and sport in the region. The new stadium is on course to open in July 2019 and brings with it great prospects of where we can go as a club. I am thrilled to be a part of this and look forward to success both on the pitch and in the boardroom.”


With the support of Club Chairman, Jon Flatman and Head Coach, James Ford, coupled with ongoing business advice from  our team at Garbutt + Elliott, Cockayne’s new role will see the relationship between club sponsors and partners with the team grow and flourish. Jeremy Oliver, Partner at Garbutt + Elliott says, “It is an exciting time to be involved with York’s leading premier sports team. We are delighted to be able to support Ben in his new role and we will be working together with him to host events in our fantastic new office space at Monks Cross near to the New Community Stadium.”


Flatman is keen to point out the reasons for creating this role and employing from within the club saying, “Aside from the obvious inside knowledge, I wanted to engage a sportsperson in this role. The parallels between the elite sporting world and success in business are clear to see.  Commitment, determination, and innate spirit and grit all make for success both in and out of the sporting arena.   The ability to work with teammates and to perform at the highest of levels, whilst under huge amounts of expectation and pressure as well as being able to bounce back from failures is what creates both great sports and business people.”


Cockayne’s sporting experience and learnings will play a vital role in complementing his entrepreneurial and business abilities, giving him a fantastic background from where to build excellent relationships and take the York City Knights into new realm’s both in the local business world and the wider community.  He concludes “I’m as hungry as ever to keep playing and keep working hard for the whole organisation.”


Here’s hoping that his hunger sees York City Knights grow both in terms of partners and performances in the Betfred Championship.