Who is Dancing on Ice star Ben Foden? Age, rugby career and wife revealed

16 January 2022, 12:30

Ben Foden has joined the Dancing on Ice line up
Ben Foden has joined the Dancing on Ice line up. Picture: ITV/Alamy/Instagram
Heart reporter

By Heart reporter

How old is Ben Foden and who is his wife? Here's what we know about the Dancing on Ice star...

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Ben Foden has taken a very brave step by joining the Dancing On Ice line up.

Having skated when he was young, the former rugby star is ready to get back on the ice and show off his skills.

After joining the show, he said: “I’d go to ice discos when I was 15, 16 (years old) and you’d always see these kids that could do pirouettes that had a proper dancing background.

Ben Foden has joined the Dancing on Ice cast
Ben Foden has joined the Dancing on Ice cast. Picture: Alamy

“I like the idea of learning a new sport and a new skill. I’m quite competitive as well so I like the challenge of competing against others doing something that I’m not necessarily good at!”

But who is Ben Foden, where is he from and how many children does he have? Here’s what we know…

How old is Ben Foden?

Ben Foden was born 22 July 1985, making him 36-years-old.

The rugby star was in Chester and went to Bishop Heber High School in Malpas, before moving to the sixth form at Bromsgrove School.

Ben Foden was married to Una Healy
Ben Foden was married to Una Healy. Picture: Alamy

Ben credits his Bromsgrove School teacher Paul Mullan as a big influence on his sporting career, as well as his dad Rob, who coached Ben and brother Tom's youth team.

Who does Ben Foden play rugby for?

Ben is a rugby union player who currently plays for Rugby United New York (RUNY) in Major League Rugby (MLR).

He has played both as a fullback and a scrum-half, winning 34 caps for England between 2009 and 2013.

The star began his career by playing for Cheshire and North of England U16s, and England U16s. He then went on to play for England U19s, and England Counties.

Ben Foden has played for England Rugby Union
Ben Foden has played for England Rugby Union. Picture: Alamy

Can Ben Foden sing?

Ben first gained his nickname of ‘Pop Idol’ or ‘Pops’ on the rugby pitch because he missed the first day of pre-season with the Sharks to audition for the signing programme.

While he didn’t get very far in the competition, Ben kick started his singing career again when he joined the line up for The X Factor: Celebrity as a member of the group, Try Star.

He sang alongside fellow rugby stars Levi Davis and Thom Evans and the trio made it all the way to the semi-final before they were eliminated in fifth place.

Who is Ben Foden’s wife?

Ben Foden married his wife Jackie Belanoff-Smith in August 2019.

They tied the knot in Nantucket, Massachusetts on the same day that his divorce to first wife Una Healy was finalised.

The couple share daughter Farrah, while Ben also shares nine-year-old daughter Aoife and six-year-old son Tadhg with The Saturdays star Una.

Ben and Una, 40, split in 2018 after six years of marriage.

At the time, there were rumours the star had been unfaithful to his wife she was pregnant with their second child.

In a later interview, Ben admitted that he had cheated but said that there was more to it.

"At the moment anything that’s published about me is never very good and pretty rightly so, because I was the one who committed adultery," he told The Guardian.