Ben Foster joins Wrexham in shock move after ending retirement

·2-min read
Back in the game: Ben Foster has come out of retirement to join Wrexham’s National League promotion push  (Getty Images)
Back in the game: Ben Foster has come out of retirement to join Wrexham’s National League promotion push (Getty Images)

Ben Foster has ended his retirement to join National League leaders Wrexham in a shock move.

The former England goalkeeper, 39, will return to the Racecourse Ground on a short-term contract until the end of the season.

Wrexham had been searching for a new ‘keeper after first-choice custodian Rob Lainton suffered a knee injury during Saturday’s 2-1 win at Bromley.

Lainton was substituted at half-time of that clash at Hayes Lane and scans later revealed ligament damage that will keep him sidelined for approximately six weeks.

The club co-owned by Hollywood stars Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney have since turned to a surprise replacement in Foster, who initially retired from football following his release by relegated Watford last summer.

Foster has since enjoyed continued success with his ‘Fozcast’ podcast, on which he revealed that he had turned down an offer to join Premier League side Newcastle before hanging up his gloves - a decision that likely ultimately cost him the chance to play in the Carabao Cup final at Wembley.

There had also been rumours of Tottenham approaching Foster as cover for Fraser Forster following the knee injury sustained by captain Hugo Lloris in early February.

However, the former West Brom stopper has now been enticed back into the game and the unusual, headline-grabbing project at Wrexham, having initially enjoyed a successful loan stint with the Welsh club back in 2005.

He made 21 appearances for Wrexham during that spell on loan from Stoke, playing a starring role in the LDV Vans Trophy final win over Southend in Cardiff before earning a high-profile move to Manchester United.

“I’m over the moon. I’ve been at the club an hour this morning and it seems a really nice place. Everyone is down to earth and the manager’s top class,” Foster told Wrexham’s official website.

“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. It will be interesting to see how my body feels after training today! I’m looking forward to getting started.

“The first time I was here, it was genuinely the springboard to the rest of my career – on the back of the loan move, playing in the LDV Vans Trophy final at the Millennium Stadium, I got my move to Manchester United at the start of the next season. It was absolutely bonkers!

“If you’d told me 18 years ago that I’d have gone on to have the career that I have had, I probably wouldn’t have believed you to be honest so I do owe a lot to Wrexham.”