Ben Coker

Date of birth:
July 1, 1990

Roysto, Hertfordshire

Diabetes Type:
Type 1

Ben Coker is a footballer who currently plays for League One club Southend United. In 2015, Coker won the League Two Play-Offs final as Southend achieved promotion.

Coker has previously played for Colchester United and Bury Town.

Type 1 diabetes diagnosis

Coker was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 15. He had excessive thirst and needed to urinate frequently , so his mother took him to their doctor, where tests later revealed his condition.

Coker was told he would need to balance his carbohydrate intake with insulin doses (10g of carbs per one unit of insulin). As he was playing upwards of 12 hours football per week – including matches on Saturday – Coker had to learn quickly to manage his blood sugar levels.

He kept a sugary energy drink on him at all times in case his blood sugar dropped too low, but he has never had a hypo during a match or in training.

Coker has been using an insulin pump for a year. The suggestion was made by his medical team after his blood glucose levels became raised. The only time Coker detaches the pump is for matches, but he says the switch from injections has provided him with much more flexibility.

Ben told the Daily Mail: “I’m more relaxed now I don’t have to worry about injecting myself, and my football has improved. I do have to wear the device all the time – the only time I take it off is for a match in case it’s damaged, but even then I reconnect it at half-time. That’s a small price to pay for the freedom it gives me. And I haven’t had any hypos since the pump was fitted.”

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