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Decoding Ben Stokes' tattoo designs and their intriguing meanings


Ben Stokes' tattoo designs are truly unique and distinctive. His eye-catching body art expresses strength, style and creativity and really stands out from the crowd. There's more to Ben Stokes than just being a world- class cricketer, let's take a look into the meaning of each of his stunning pieces. 

The Lion family tattoo: an emblem of unyielding bonds

Dominating his back is a stunning tattoo of a lion family – a lion, lioness, and two cubs, carefully crafted by tattoo artist Mel Blyth using precision cartridges and needles. This tattoo holds profound personal significance for Stokes. It symbolises his own family, with the lion representing Stokes, the lioness symbolising his wife, Clare Ratcliffe, and the two cubs representing their children, Layton and Libby.

Stokes elaborates on the importance of his tattoos, "Tattoos aren’t everybody’s taste. But they are mine. All my tattoos mean something to me personally and are very special to me. My most recent one represents me, my amazing wife and my two wonderful kids. We will always be together now when I’m away touring. Twenty-eight hours of pain and it’s finally finished". (Ben Stokes @stokesy speaking on Instagram 28, Dec 2018)


artist using tattoo equipment


Left arm tattoos

Kirihuti Maori design tattoo: a testament to cultural roots

On Stokes' left bicep is a large Maori design, the 'Kirihuti Maori'. This tattoo embodies Stokes' Maori ancestry, a lineage tracing back to the indigenous people of New Zealand. The design is a testament to his cultural heritage and an acknowledgement of his roots. In Maori culture, such designs symbolise social status, power, and prestige, signifying Stokes' embrace of his familial and cultural identity.

A phrase of motivation tattoo: the driving force behind the success

Inscribed within the Maori design is a powerful phrase: 'Being the best you can be is only possible if you desire to be a champion and your fear of failure is non-existent’. This quote reflects Stokes' inherent competitive spirit and his pursuit of excellence. It serves as a constant reminder and source of motivation, pushing him to overcome any hurdles that might appear in his personal life or professional career.

 Ben Stokes' tattoos, far from being just pieces of body art, narrate a story of personal values, familial ties, cultural roots, and unyielding determination.

Each tattoo mirrors a facet of his life, transforming his body into a canvas that depicts his life and values. Just as his powerful performances on the cricket field inspire many, his tattoos also speak volumes about the man behind the sports star, encouraging us all to embrace our own stories and wear them with pride.

Silver fern symbol inked tattoo: embracing national identity

Near Ben's left shoulder is the Silver Fern symbol, an iconic emblem of New Zealand's nationality. As a key part of his heritage, this ink mirrors Stokes' bond to New Zealand, the land of his mother.


new zealand flagpole

Right arm tattoos

Maori goddess tattoo: a deeper connection to Maori culture

In further homage to his Maori roots, Stokes' right bicep is adorned with a tattoo of a Maori Goddess. This emblematic design underlines the depth of his connection to Maori culture and heritage. The Maori Goddess, representing femininity and strength, is an influential figure within Maori mythology.

Rose tattoo: an ode to England

Stokes' profound love for England and its cricket team is beautifully represented by the tattoo of a rose, the national flower of England, meticulously tattooed on the outer side of his right upper arm. The rose, a symbol of passion and loyalty, aptly represents the unwavering dedication and passion Stokes has for the game and his adoptive nation.

The rose is not just a representation of England as a country, but also an emblem of the values that it stands for - resilience, courage, and integrity, values that Stokes exemplifies on and off the cricket field. In English history, the rose has also been a symbol of balance, expressing promise, new beginnings, and hope. It is these attributes that resonate with Stokes' journey in cricket, marked by both glorious victories and challenging tribulations.

Stokes, born and raised in New Zealand, moved to England at a young age. His cricketing journey took off in the lands of England, a country that has shaped his professional career and personal life. This rose tattoo is a testament to the unwavering bond he has formed with the nation over the years. It symbolises his gratitude and pays homage to a country that he has proudly represented on the global cricket stage.

Cricket test series numbers tattoo: a nod to his cricket career

Prominently displayed on his arm are the numbers representing Stokes' T20I debut cap (58), ODI debut cap (221), and Test debut cap (658). Elegantly placed on the left arm of the Maori Goddess tattoo, these numbers do more than simply decorate his skin – they narrate an essential part of his cricketing saga.

Each debut cap number marks a pivotal stage in Stokes' career, symbolising a rite of passage in his evolution as an international cricketer. Number 58 commemorates his T20I debut, a momentous occasion when Stokes first tasted the frenzied excitement of the shorter format at an international level. 221 and 658 encapsulate his initiation into ODI and Test cricket, respectively, significant milestones marking his transition from a promising cricketer to a reliable figure on the international stage.


cricket ball and bat on the ground

Quote by Drake tattoo: motivation from music

Stokes' fondness for motivational quotes is again reflected in a tattoo on his right arm. This quote, taken from Drake’s song, ‘Shot For Me…’ reads, ‘May people respect you, Trouble neglect you, Angels protect you, Heaven accepts you’. A constant reminder, these words instil a sense of motivation and encouragement, embodying Stokes' resilient spirit.

Layton: a father's pride

Tattooed on Ben Stokes' right bicep in a banner-like design is the name 'Layton', a tribute to his beloved son and an enduring testament to his role as a father. Far more than a mere aesthetic choice, this tattoo highlights an important facet of Stokes' life that lies beyond the cricket pitch: his role as a devoted and loving father.

As a name forever etched on his skin, 'Layton' serves as a daily reminder to Stokes of the bond he shares with his son, a bond steeped in unconditional love, respect, and mutual admiration. This tattoo stands as a symbol of his deep-seated paternal pride, immortalising his commitment to fatherhood and the profound joy that Layton brings to his life.

Phoenix rising from the ashes: resilience embodied

On Stokes' right forearm is a Phoenix rising from the ashes, a tattoo he got after losing a match to West Indies in the T20 World Cup 2016. The Phoenix, a universal symbol of rebirth and resilience, reflects the strength and determination to rise against failures and setbacks. In his own words, "that if it gets put down, it gets back up and comes back stronger.”

Unknown tattoo: an unrevealed meaning

A less defined tattoo design adorns the inner left bicep of Stokes. Though the cricketer has not shared the exact meaning of this tattoo, it is known to signify some motivational aspect.

Feathers and leaves and stars: aesthetic elements

Ben Stokes' tattoos are not only personal narratives but also canvases of artistic expression. Adding to his vast collection are two light-shaded feathers inked on his right wrist, each standing out for their intricate detail. With their light and delicate shading, these feathers lend a touch of elegance to Stokes' tattoo collection. In various cultures, feathers symbolise a range of attributes, including freedom, courage, and travel, possibly resonating with Stokes' own life experiences.

Furthering his unique blend of personal symbolism and artistry is a striking design of leaves and stars tattoo, sprawled across the inner side of his right arm. This tribal-like pattern is a visual feast, teeming with intricate detailing and rich symbolism.


English cricketer Ben Stokes isn't just known for his extraordinary performances on the field but also for his collection of meaningful and intricate tattoos. Each tattoo carries a deeply personal or cultural significance, becoming a public testament to his beliefs, values, heritage, and life experiences.

His tattoos reflect not only the aesthetics of the art form but also the spirit of a man deeply connected to his roots, passionate about his profession, and committed to his loved ones. In this, Ben Stokes shows us that tattoos can be far more than mere decoration - they can be deeply personal symbols that tell a story of the person beneath the ink.

Are you inspired by Ben Stokes' tattoos and considering creating your own unique body art? Start your new tattoo journey today with our high-quality tattoo machines. Ensure the longevity and vibrancy of your tattoos with our premium tattoo ink. Remember, aftercare is just as important, and with our tattoo aftercare products, we've got you covered! Visit our tattoo shop and explore our extensive range of professional tattoo equipment and aftercare products to cater to all your tattooing needs.


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  • Mark Joshua Luz