Sons of Ben

The Sons of Ben is a 501(c) (3) Pennsylvania based non-profit, membership organization.

The Sons of Ben, founded in January 2007, exists to support and develop the Delaware Valley soccer community. Through active, grassroots support, the Sons of Ben helped establish the momentum leading to the creation of the Philadelphia Union of Major League Soccer (MLS) and the Philadelphia Independence of the Women’s Professional Soccer (WPS) league. In forging a relationship with Chester City, Delaware County and Pennsylvania State political leaders along with Major League Soccer, the vocal support of the group directly influenced the decision to award Philadelphia with an MLS franchise.

The Sons of Ben have provided a social outlet for soccer supporters to share common interests and be part of a larger community of sports fans in the 4th largest American media market. The organization has grown to include over 5,000 members throughout Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, and around the world. The Sons of Ben have also grown to oversee the Delaware Valley Infantry, a US Soccer supporters group based in Philadelphia region, and the Daughters of Betsy, a Philadelphia Independence (WPS) supporters group.
Charitable and philanthropic efforts have been central to the Sons of Ben since its founding, as evidenced by annual initiatives supporting the Bernardine Center in Chester, PA through its Help Kick Hunger campaign and ongoing efforts to support various other organizations close to the Delaware Valley soccer community.

The coming months will start a new chapter in the organizations noteworthy story with many historical events marking the arrival of the Philadelphia Union, Philadelphia Independence and the Sons of Ben into the national spotlight.

Photo by Earl Gardner

Photo by Earl Gardner

In Memory of Kenny Hanson

It is with a very heavy and sad heart that I announce the passing of former Sons of Ben President, Kenny Hanson.

Kenny was a kind soul and a great human being. He was a friend to many and a great leader. There are no easy words to explain the hole his passing has left in many of us, and the heart ache we feel. This will not be an easy time for our group, knowing that one of our own has passed on to SoB Eternal. He was a great leader, a man who enjoyed life and enjoyed helping others, one of those people who made you proud to know him, made you strive to be a better person. As someone said in a post, when Kenny served as President of the Sons of Ben, he did his best to have us focus on the one thing that tied us together, instead of the thousand things that pulled us apart.

Although we are all saddened by the untimely tragedy, I want every single one of you to reach out to your fellow SoBs, reach out to Kenny's friends and family, share a story our two about who Kenny was to you, how you met, whatever you need to do to keep a light spirit in these trying times. Even with tears in my eyes as I type this, I scroll through my facebook and twitter and texts, to rejoice in the stories and photos people are sharing, celebrating the life of our friend, our leader, our brother.

I want to thank the countless number of individuals and fellow supporter's clubs who have reached out and shown their support in this time of despair. It truly goes to show how far the greatness of Kenny Hanson has touched.

To Amy, Kenny's parents, family and friends, I know this is an extremely difficult time for you, but do not hesitate to let us know what you need, we will do whatever we possibly can to help you through these dark days. If you, or anybody needs to talk, please reach out, we are all here for you.

Ad Finem Fidelis.

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Sons of Ben on Twitter

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Bark Tees are the official retailer for all Sons of Ben merchandise. Known for their unique apparel that provides commentary on the Philadelphia psyche, Bark Tees originally started as just an idea between 2 friends tailgating before a Phish concert. Launched as a website in the summer of 2009, the company has since evolved into a multi-functioning business that offers many different products and services. Additions have included a physical store in Haddon Township NJ, a wholesale department that sells to numerous stores in the Philadelphia area, a custom printing and embroidery department, a fund-raising program designed for organizations and groups, and finally shipping and marketing services for a large range of businesses. 

© copyright 2014, Sons of Ben.  Main image by Earl Gardner.