Wrexham FC, who are owned by the Hollywood stars Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney, have signed the former Manchester United goalkeeper Ben Foster until at least the end of the season. The goalkeeper, 39, retired from the sport in September 2022 having made 27 Premier League appearances for Watford, but has come out of retirement to sign with the National League side.
This is not Foster’s first dalliance with Wrexham. The 39-year-old was sent on loan to the Welsh side back in 2005 but has said “It’s changed a lot since I was last here, but it’s nice to be back and it’s nice to be back as a player too.
Wrexham lost their first-choice goalkeeper Rob Lainton to a knee ligament injury earlier in the week. Speaking after the announcement, Wrexham boss Phil Parkinson said: “We’re delighted to welcome Ben to the club. With Rob Lainton getting injured at the weekend it was important we had all bases covered going into the last part of the season, which this signing ensures.”
Here is all you need to know about their new signing Ben Foster...
Who has Ben Foster played for?
Ben Foster began his professional career with Stoke City having played as a youth for Racing Club Warwick. During his five years at Stoke, he was sent out on loan to five different clubs, including Wrexham for whom he made 17 league appearances. He then moved to Manchester United after being spotted by Sir Alex Ferguson.
While not immediately ready for first team action, Foster was once again sent out on loan, this time to Watford with the Watford manager Aidy Boothroyd claiming: “he’s better than the current Manchester United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar.” Foster’s performances with the Hornets earned him the club’s Player of the Season award in 2006-07 and he returned to United the following season.
Following his time at United, where he was consistently kept as a second-choice keeper, Foster joined Birmingham City, where he also won the club’s Player of the Season award, and West Bromwich Albion. During his six years at West Brom, Foster made 172 league appearances and in 2012, he kept seven clean sheets in 30 league matches. He helped guide West Brom to their record high Premier League position of eight and won the West Brom supporter’s club player of the season on four occasions.
After West Brom’s relegation, Foster signed with Watford where he would remain until first announcing his retirement in September 2022.
How many England caps does Foster have?
Ben Foster has eight England caps to his name and made his debut for the Three Lions in a 1-0 defeat against Spain in February 2007. He was overlooked for England’s 2010 World Cup squad, with Joe Hart being preferred, but was selected for the final 3 in England’s 2014 World Cup squad having taken an indefinite break from his international career. His final England appearance came in a group stage match against Costa Rica.
In an interview with BBC Radio 5 Live on Peter Crouch’s podcast, Foster said that he found Fabio Capello difficult to work with, not only as a manager but as a person. Foster said he was at training when his wife went into labour and initially Capello refused to allow Foster to leave for his child’s birth, finally relenting after his goalkeeper pleaded. Three hours later, Capello called Foster asking him to return and said he would play the second half of the upcoming match. In the end, Foster was not brought on and played no role in the match with Capello offering no acknowledgement or explanation. Shortly after, Foster announced he would not be making himself available for international selection for an indefinite period.
What his Ben Foster’s net worth and salary?
During his time at Watford, Foster was reportedly earning in the region of £2,500,000 and amassed a net worth of around £9.7m. It is not known what deal he made with Wrexham and therefore his future wage for this season is not known.