Coventry City FC star to appear on hit BBC show

(Left to Right) Ben Sheaf, Jayden Hanley, Marc Hughes and Aaron Hodgetts at the CBS Arena
-Credit: (Image: BBC)

A hugely popular Coventry City FC star swapped his training boots for scripts as he made his TV debut on the award-winning series Phoenix Rise. Midfielder Ben Sheaf will be appearing in the latest series of the hit show, which has just landed on BBC iPlayer.

Sheaf, who joined the Sky Blues in 2021, will be appearing on the sixth episode of the new series alongside Jayden Hanley, who plays Darcy. He will get the chance to train with Sheaf at the Coventry Building Society Arena in Longford.

Darcy will be feeling inspired and ready to impress the scout who is coming to watch him play later that day, the BBC said. Teacher Mr Edwards, played by Marc Hughes, is encouraging and pushes the youngster to pursue his dream of playing for the Sky Blues.

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Jayden, from Solihull, told CoventryLive: “It was a wicked day, I got to play at the CBS Arena and score a few goals. It was a really nice day.”

“As a massive football fan, it was nice to pretend to be good at football! I got to take a penalty kick and it was all a bit surreal, just looking around at an empty stadium on the pitch and the sound of the ball hitting the net, as a football fan it was just a really nice day. I was really happy.”

Jayden Hanley trained with Sky Blues' Ben Sheaf at the CBS Arena
Jayden Hanley trained with Sky Blues' Ben Sheaf at the CBS Arena -Credit:Jaspreet Kaur/CoventryLive

Laughing, Jayden added: “I appreciate working in Coventry and I have had the time of my life here, but I will not be coming to support Coventry City FC. I will stay supporting the biggest club in the Midlands which is Birmingham City.”

Midfielder Ben Sheaf described being part of the hit BBC show as a 'good experience.' He even signed a Coventry City top when they filmed at the CBS Arena.

Crews at the CBS Arena in Coventry
Crews at the CBS Arena in Coventry -Credit:BBC

Sheaf told BBC CWR: “Probably the last time I acted was in primary school, I think I was Joseph in a play, to be honest, I think that was the last time! It was a bit of am I going to be comfortable doing this, they said I did a good job.

“Whether they were lying to me to make me feel good, I am not too sure. It was a good experience, I did not realise how much goes on behind the scenes, the actors and the staff made me feel at home and were really helpful. It was a new experience and I am pleased I did it in the end.“

Asked what it was like filming alongside Sheaf, Jayden said: “It came naturally to him, I suppose the role that he was playing was quite similar to himself. He is a really sound guy, a really lovely bloke, and it was really nice to meet him.”

Watch Phoenix Rise on BBC Three and BBC iPlayer.

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