MONDAY was Martin Luther King Day in the United States.

A federal holiday held on the third Monday of January, it celebrates the life and achievements of the influential American civil rights leader.

He is most well-known for his campaigns to end racial segregation on public transport and for racial equality in the United States.

Martin Luther King was my first hero, and I vividly remember writing an English essay on him for some of my GCSE coursework.

I just loved his mindset, his approach towards situations and his strength to remain focused through adversity.

He had a peaceful non-violent approach, but still was effective in achieving what he set out to do, but many mistook this as a weakness.

His methods were always compared to other black civil right leaders like Malcolm X and the Black Panthers, who were not scared to use violence in their methods of achieving their goals.

It was on August 28, 1963 that Martin Luther King Jr gave his iconic “I have a dream” speech.

A recording of the speech was to have a huge impact on me as a child. I didn’t understand it fully, but just remember this voice sounding like a pastor from my nan’s church just having me hooked.

It made me see that through words you can have a powerful effect on people.

Words can lift people’s spirit and get them to believe that anything is possible.

That’s what I want to do, use my words to lift people and believe that they can achieve what they set their heart on.

From the Premier League to the Premier lead, inspiring talks, delivered with a man-of-the- match performance.

That’s me, a keynote speaker is the official term, but motivational and inspirational speaker is what I feel best describes me.

I am hoping my new speaking career can replicate my football career in longevity and also in success.

It took more than just a talent for football for me to become a successful player. It required determination, discipline and dedication – qualities shared by successful people in every industry.

My talks are centred on these principles.

I’m not an after dinner speaker, I don’t just answer questions and tell stories about teammates or share dressing room secrets.

What I do is I go into business or organisation and get to know all about them before my talk, to gain an understanding of what they want to achieve.

I’ll choose relevant subjects that inspire and motivate individuals and teams to achieve their goals.

I find it great that I am getting the chance to speak to possibly a banker, a receptionist or a company director – to help them to see a different way to achieving success or their relevant goals through my talks.

I am very pleased with my new career path and look forward to the future.

My hunger and desire to do well, mixed with a passion for my new career – shake it with a childlike enthusiasm and it should make for a healthy cocktail of success.

It’s the very same feelings and emotions I had as a 16-year-old apprentice starting off at Chelsea Football Club and that is a positive sign for me.

I am out of my comfort zone in becoming a keynote speaker, but that doesn’t scare me one little bit.

In life I have learnt that nothing good ever happens in the comfort zone anyway.

So if I was to have a dream it is to have a positive impact on people lives with my words and talks.