Ben Foster (footballer): Wikis


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Ben Foster
Ben Foster.jpg
Personal information
Full name Benjamin Anthony Foster[1]
Date of birth 3 April 1983 (1983-04-03) (age 26)[1]
Place of birth Leamington Spa, England
Height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Playing position Goalkeeper
Club information
Current club Manchester United
Number 12
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2000–2001 Racing Club Warwick 18 (0)
2001–2005 Stoke City 0 (0)
2002 Bristol City (loan) 0 (0)
2002–2003 Tiverton Town (loan) 16 (0)
2004 Stafford Rangers (loan) 1 (0)
2004 Kidderminster Harriers (loan) 2 (0)
2005 Wrexham (loan) 17 (0)
2005– Manchester United 12 (0)
2005–2007 Watford (loan) 73 (0)
National team
2007– England 4 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 23:06, 22 December 2009 (UTC).

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 23:51, 21 December 2009 (UTC)

Benjamin Anthony "Ben" Foster (born 3 April 1983) is an English footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for Manchester United and internationally for the English national team.


Club career


Stoke City

Born in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, Foster started his football career at Racing Club Warwick in 2000. He spent a season there before he joined Stoke City on 25 April 2001. During his time at Stoke, Foster had loan spells at Bristol City,[2] Tiverton Town,[3] Stafford Rangers, Kidderminster Harriers[4] and Wrexham.[5] Foster sustained a cruciate ligament injury in June 2003 while playing tennis with his brother,[6] which sidelined him for a period of six months.[7][8]

Manchester United

While playing for Wrexham on loan from Stoke, Foster was spotted by Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson, who was watching his son, Darren, in the 2005 Football League Trophy Final. United had been struggling for several years to replace former goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel, and Ferguson decided to move for the young Foster, making a bid of £1 million for the player.[9] Stoke agreed a deal with United on 15 July 2005,[10] and the transfer was completed on 19 July.[11]

Loan moves to Watford

Not yet ready for first team action, Foster was sent on a season-long loan to Watford on 1 August 2005,[12] with the expectation of a second loan the season after.[13] Watford manager Aidy Boothroyd claimed that "he's better than current Manchester United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar" and believes that "he is going to be the best goalkeeper in the world."[14] Manchester United manager Ferguson has suggested that Foster will succeed Edwin van der Sar as first-choice keeper at United and should eventually replace Paul Robinson as "England's next goalkeeper."[15] Foster helped Watford reach the Premier League by beating Leeds United 3–0 in the Championship play-off final.[16]

He re-signed for Watford on a second season-long loan on 10 August 2006 after Manchester United secured the services of Polish goalkeeper Tomasz Kuszczak on loan from West Bromwich Albion.[17] Foster's performances during Watford's Premier League campaign earnt him the club's "Player of the Season" award. Aidy Boothroyd expressed his desire to keep Foster at Watford for a third season on a number of occasions during the 2006–07 season, but his hopes were dashed in January 2007 when Alex Ferguson announced his intention to bring Foster back to Old Trafford at the end of the season.[18]

Back to Manchester United

In June 2007, it was announced that Foster would undergo surgery on a cruciate ligament injury in his right knee, forcing him to miss the start of the 2007–08 season.[19] He returned to light training towards the end of 2007, setting a February 2008 target for his return.[20] He made a comeback in a reserves game against Middlesbrough on 6 March 2008,[21] before making his debut for the Manchester United first team on 15 March 2008. With Edwin van der Sar injured and Tomasz Kuszczak suspended for a red card against Portsmouth in the FA Cup Sixth Round the previous Saturday, Alex Ferguson had to shelve plans to ship Foster out on loan again, and the young goalkeeper was promoted to the #1 jersey for the away match against Derby County. United won the game 1–0, with Foster making two crucial saves en route to keeping a clean sheet.[22] Although he was impressed with Foster's performance in the game against Derby,[23] Ferguson did not start him for the following match against Bolton Wanderers, opting for the returning Kuszczak.[24]

After being selected as a substitute for Manchester United's opening game of the 2008–09 Champions League against Villarreal on 17 September 2008,[25] Foster then played for the reserves against Blackburn Rovers the following day. Unfortunately, during the game, he fell awkwardly and suffered a twisted ankle, putting him out of contention for six to eight weeks.[26] Fortunately for Foster, his recovery time was quicker than was first estimated and he returned to reserve team action on 14 October 2008, playing the full 90 minutes in a 2–1 win over Oldham Athletic reserves.[27] Foster then made his first Champions League appearance – his second for the Manchester United first team – on 5 November 2008, in a 1–1 away draw to Celtic.[28]

Foster was originally selected in Manchester United's squad for the 2008 FIFA Club World Cup, but after suffering a broken finger in training the day before the squad was due to depart for Japan, he was replaced by Ben Amos.[29] On 1 March 2009, Alex Ferguson named Foster in goal for the 2009 League Cup Final at Wembley Stadium. After keeping a clean sheet in normal time, Foster then made a save from Tottenham's Jamie O'Hara in the consequent penalty shoot-out. This, combined with a miss from David Bentley, gave United a 4–1 win in the shootout and the 2009 League Cup title. For his performance, Foster was given the Alan Hardaker man of the match award.[30] It was revealed after the match that Foster had used an iPod to help with his preparations in the penalty shootout, prompting discussion about the use of technology in the game.[31]

Foster was rewarded for his performance by being made United's second-choice goalkeeper for the remainder of the season, starting three more matches when Alex Ferguson chose to rest Edwin van der Sar ahead of important matches. However, he had been attempting to play with a ruptured ligament in his right thumb, which became aggravated, necessitating surgery which ruled him out of United's title run-in, the Champions League Final against Barcelona and England's 2010 World Cup qualifiers in June.[32] Following speculation that United were in the market for a new goalkeeper to replace the soon-to-retire Edwin van der Sar, Foster signed a new four-year contract with the club. Alex Ferguson commented that Manchester United "genuinely see him [Foster] as a successor to Edwin van der Sar".[33]

With Van der Sar injured for the first two months of the 2009–10 season, Foster was given the opportunity to nail down the number one shirt in the 2009 FA Community Shield defeat to Chelsea, where his mistakes led to two Chelsea goals and made no saves in the penalty shooutout.[34] Foster continued to play in the League, starting with the opening day victory over Birmingham City.[35] In wins against Arsenal and Manchester City, Foster received heavy criticism for massive errors that led to opposition goals.[citation needed] Manager Alex Ferguson stated that he believes in Foster's abilities and potential;[36] however, eight days later, Foster was again criticised for a mistake which led to a Sunderland goal in a 2-2 draw,[37] and left out of the England squad the next day with bruised ribs.[38] However, following Robert Green's red card in the match against Ukraine and consequent suspension, Foster was given the all-clear by doctors and recalled to the England squad for the match against Belarus on 14 October.[39] As of January 2010, Foster has only played two games for Manchester United since the Sunderland match; a League Cup win against Championship side Barnsley, and a Champions League tie versus Beşiktaş, with Manchester United's progress from the group already secured.[40] He was displaced from the first team in Van der Sar's absence by Tomasz Kuszczak, and on occasion, reserve goalkeeper Ben Amos took Foster's place on the substitutes bench.[41] Foster started his first game for three months against West Ham in February 2010, keeping a clean sheet in a 3-0 victory.[42]

International career

On 26 May 2006, Foster was named on the stand-by list for England's 2006 World Cup squad, because of Robert Green's injury in a "B" international against Belarus.[43] After Foster re-signed on loan for Watford, he was called up to Steve McClaren's first England squad as one of three goalkeepers for the friendly against Greece.[44] Since his first call-up but prior to his injury, Foster was named in every England squad, and made his England debut in the 1–0 defeat against Spain on 7 February 2007.[45]

After not playing for England for two years and never being called to the first team, he was finally selected by Fabio Capello after his performance at the League Cup final and was a second half substitute against Slovakia in a 4–0 victory to earn his second cap.

Inconsistent performances in Manchester United's first fixtures of the 2009–10 season, as well as bruised ribs, meant that Foster was left out of Capello's initial squad for their final two World Cup qualifiers. However, after Robert Green was sent off in the match against Ukraine on 10 October, Foster was recalled in his place for the following match against Belarus. It had been expected that David James would take Green's place in the starting line-up, but James was injured in the warm-up and Foster was given his third England cap instead. England won the match 3–0, with Foster making a one-handed save from Sergei Omelyanchuk in the 63rd minute.[46] Foster won his fourth cap against Brazil, where he played the whole game in a 1-0 loss on 14 November 2009, the friendly game was played in Qatar, with forward Nilmar scoring the only goal of the game from a header in the 47th minute.[47]

Career statistics

Club Season League FA Cup League Cup Europe Other[48] Total
Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Racing Club Warwick 2000–01
Stoke City 2001–02
Bristol City (loan) 2002–03
Tiverton Town (loan) 2003–04 16 0 16 0
Stafford Rangers (loan) 2003–04 1 0 1 0
Kidderminster Harriers (loan) 2004–05 2 0 2 0
Wrexham (loan) 2004–05 17 0 0 0 0 0 4 0 21 0
Manchester United 2005–06 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2006–07 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2007–08 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
2008–09 2 0 3 0 3 0 1 0 0 0 9 0
2009–10 9 0 0 0 2 0 1 0 1 0 13 0
Total 12 0 3 0 5 0 2 0 1 0 23 0
Watford (loan) 2005–06 44 0 1 0 0 0 3 0 48 0
2006–07 29 0 3 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 33 0
Total 80 0 4 0 1 0 2 0 3 0 88 0

Statistics accurate as of match played 23 February 2010[49]



Manchester United



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  35. ^ Soneji, Pranav (16 August 2009). "Man Utd 1-0 Birmingham". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). Retrieved 13 March 2010. 
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  38. ^ "Walcott left out of England squad". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 4 October 2009. Retrieved 12 October 2009. 
  39. ^ "Rooney pulls out of England squad". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 11 October 2009. Retrieved 12 October 2009. 
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  41. ^ Reekie, Harry (9 January 2010). "Birmingham 1-1 Man Utd". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). Retrieved 13 March 2010. 
  42. ^ Lyon, Sam (23 February 2010). "Man Utd 3-0 West Ham". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). Retrieved 13 March 2010. 
  43. ^ "Carson promoted to England squad". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 26 May 2006. Retrieved 7 November 2008. 
  44. ^ "Ashton receives England call-up". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). 11 August 2006. Retrieved 7 November 2008. 
  45. ^ Sinnott, John (7 February 2007). "England 0-1 Spain". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). Retrieved 7 November 2008. 
  46. ^ McNulty, Phil (14 October 2009). "England 3-0 Belarus". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). Retrieved 15 October 2009. 
  47. ^ McNulty, Phil (14 November 2009). "Brazil 1-0 England". BBC Sport (British Broadcasting Corporation). Retrieved 13 March 2010. 
  48. ^ Includes other competitive competitions, including the FA Community Shield, UEFA Super Cup, Intercontinental Cup, FIFA Club World Cup
  49. ^ Endlar, Andrew. "Ben Foster". Retrieved 24 December 2009. 

External links


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