"John is an inspirational person and a quite brilliant speaker. In life, you sometimes meet people who give you a different perspective, lift you up and leave you with hope - John is one of these people" 

William Hague

“I first heard John speak at an HMRC development event for junior staff.  His life story is fascinating and I found myself laughing and crying in equal measure as he described the challenges, joys and sorrows he has faced. As I looked around the packed conference room it was clear that the audience were without exception as captivated as I was by John.  

“He is an extremely gifted orator and when I was appointed as project lead for a cross Civil Service Leadership Development Programme, John was first choice on my list of inspirational speakers.  Hearing his account for a second time was just as powerful and feedback from delegates confirmed how inspirational John really is -  'Wow' - 'Brilliant' - 'Inspired' are just a few of the words used to describe the impact he has. Everyone should hear John's story - so if you haven't already - make sure you do so soon……………you will be humbled, uplifted and completely blown away.”

Pauline Tulloch, E&C Strategy and Change

“He hasn’t been able to watch a football match for the best part of half-a-century, but John Flanner’s knowledge of Aston Villa is second to none.

John has simply refused to allow his blindness to interfere with his enjoyment and appreciation of his favourite club, and his thirst for information is unquenchable.  That is typical of a man who, through words both written and spoken, has been an inspiration to many thousands of people more fortunate than himself.

“I guarantee if John is able to deliver a talk at your event or Company then the impact in terms of positive energy will be instant and amazing.”

Rob Bishop, Aston Villa Football Club

“I had the privilege of meeting John when he came to a senior leadership event to talk about how some one giving him encouragement in the workplace had transformed his life. I hadn't appreciated the impact I could have as a leader. John was truly inspirational. I was humbled by his commitment and approach to his work and the fact he allowed nothing to dampen his enthusiasm for life.

“As a result of meeting John I ensured that I gave more attention to personal acknowledgements and encouragement for good work. This had a positive impact on the development and, in some cases, advancement of my staff.

“I believe that John Flanner has made me a better leader.”

Alison Lowe MBE

“It was a pleasure to meet you at Derek's last SLT in Manchester.  I was truly inspired by the talk you gave at this meeting, very powerful yet emotive and funny.

“What struck me was how motivated you are despite everything you have had to deal with in your life and this has certainly been thought provoking for me. Your love of life itself was clear, as was your commitment to do a good job.

“In the tough times your faith has certainly comforted you.  I would have loved to have heard more. I am sure your book will provide me with many a laugh and a tear for that matter.”

Lynn Fulton, Manager

“We gave the award in recognition of many things, but not least for…(John’s) unstinting enthusiasm and dedication.”

Sir Gus O’Donnell, former Cabinet Secretary

“I had the pleasure of attending one of John’s presentations during a government development course.

“I had reached a bit of a low and was finding motivation difficult for a variety of reasons. John’s talk was a real eye opener. His inspiring words put everything I was feeling into perspective and his enthusiasm visibly rubbed off on everybody in the room.

“Since then, whenever feeling demotivated I think back to his presentation and words of encouragement and use it as a kick to get off my behind. I’ve since then been fortunate to work through two promotions and I honestly hold John’s words as one of the influential factors.

“I strongly recommend taking the time to hear one of his chats if you ever get the chance, I’m sure anybody would find as much value in his words as I did.”

Jamie Larkin, Front Line Manager, Local Compliance

 “I fully endorse John on a personal and professional level.  I know you will enjoy his story and also gain from it.  John Flanner and I go back a long way.  Like me he’s a Brummie with Solihull connections.  We love music and support Aston Villa, both Villains! 

“We have all struggled with fear at times, and sometimes the fear of something can be more destructive than the thing in question!   John’s story, and his journey to conquer his many fears, will show you that these feelings are not uncommon, but that there is hope that it doesn’t always have to be this way.

“John’s life-changing story has the power to transform your outlook on life, empower you to get out of your comfort zone, and give you the skills you need to overcome every obstacle and pursue your dreams.  John’s enthusiasm for life is infectious!” 

Rt Hon Lord Taylor of Warwick

 “I have known John for over forty years; his incredible personality has undoubtedly attracted many people to attend his seminars over the years.

“John faced the heart-breaking news of pending blindness at a time in life when most are just planning their future - his personal faith and stoic determination to overcome difficulties has left a legacy for others to learn from.

“I personally experience a depth of insight from John that must be of value to a community who often ignore the values of life in the quest for survival.  John speaks with conviction yet, relationally, he speaks as if he has known his listeners as personal friends.

“I would highly recommend John to any business or community that wants to be inspired to reach their destiny.”

Rt Revd Dr David E Carr OSL, Bishop, Order & Community of St Leonard 

David E Carr OSL, Renewal Christian Centre, Free Methodist Church.

“In no way remote from everyday 21st century situations, and the majority of us who live life within them, John will inspire you with personal examples of his successes, and at times failures, as he shares from real life, not intellectual theory.  He will likely make you laugh, and for some maybe even cry, but he certainly will motivate you to see that nothing is impossible to those who are open to change and renewed thinking.” 

Dr. Stephen J T Wood.  M.B.,Ch.B., C.Occ.Health.

"As a leader of more than 4,000 people, having someone like John as part of my team has been invaluable.  His inspirational experiences create a real buzz of excitement throughout the organisation and specifically at leadership level.

“As a consequence, his skills are morale building and thought provoking.  His work in championing diversity and inclusion, especially for those with disabilities, is particularly commendable whilst his passion for life is infectious.

“I feel truly privileged to know him as a colleague as well as someone who I trust for advice.”

Derek Hughes