Ben Foster: Retired goalkeeper set to star in Welcome to Wrexham season 2

Having come out of retirement to rejoin Wrexham Town, Ben Foster played his part in a thrilling end-of-season final which saw the Welsh club clinch the National League title and return to the Football League for the first time since the 2007/08 season.

The legendary keep enjoyed a 23-year spell in professional football that saw him play for a host of Premier League clubs, including Manchester United, and be capped for his country.

With the second series of Welcome to Wrexham set to be released on 12th September and feature the former England keeper, let’s take a look back at his lengthy career.

Born in Leamington Spa in Warwickshire, Foster started his youth career at Racing Club Warwick whilst working part-time as a chef. He would soon catch the eye of then-second-division side Stoke City. Still a youngster, Foster was sent out on loan to various clubs – mostly unsuccessfully – until a breakthrough spell at Wrexham in 2005.

It was there that Foster played 17 times and caught the attention of Alex Ferguson – Manchester United manager at the time – who decided to make a move for the young shot-stopper. At the end of the season, he would make the move to Old Trafford after a £1m deal was agreed with his parent club, Stoke.

The English keeper spent five years with Manchester United (Getty Images)

With Edwin van der Sar the first-choice keeper at United, Foster was sent out on loan again, spending two seasons at Watford before returning to United. However, he was unable to ever secure a regular starting role in the line-up and after three seasons, and just 12 league appearances, Foster left for Birmingham City.

After just one season at Birmingham, Foster would move again joining West Brom, initially on loan. The move was made permanent the following season with Foster enjoying seven seasons at the club during their most successful Premier League period.

Following their relegation in 2018, Foster remained in the Premier League as he returned to Watford eleven years after his second loan spell. He would spend another four seasons there before he announced his retirement at the end of the 2021-22 season.

Having switched his focus to his burgeoning YouTube channel, Foster announced his intention to come out of retirement just six months later to sign a short-term contract and return to Wrexham 18 years after his initial loan spell.

Foster helped guide Wrexham back to the Football League (Getty Images)

Foster helped guide Wrexham back to the Football League (Getty Images)

He played eight games in a thrilling conclusion to the season, with his most memorable moment coming in the topsy-turvy clash with promotion rivals Notts County when Foster saved a last-minute penalty to secure a dramatic 3-2 win and stay top of the table.

Wrexham would go on to secure the title and promotion with Foster signing a new one-year deal to remain at the club for the first season back in the Football League. However, after only four games in League Two, Foster announced he would be stepping away from the sport again, citing his age and disappointing personal start to the season having conceded 13 goals in those four games.

“The honest truth is that my performances this season haven’t reached the level I demand of myself and I feel that now is the right time to retire,” he said on the club website. “At the forefront of my mind when making this decision was not only what was best for me but also the club. Wrexham will always have a special place in my heart.”

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