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Ben Foster looks back on career and reveals Wrexham tried to bring him out of retirement

Ben Foster looks back on career and reveals Wrexham tried to bring him out of retirement, opening up in a new interview with LiveScore.

The 39 year old has revealed he declined a contract with the National League leaders, who have already got people talking with the signing of a fair few League One level players.

After Watford’s relegation to Championship, the veteran keeper ended his 22-year-long career last September, and feels he made the right decision.

 

After being overtaken by Rob McElhenney and Ryan Reynolds in 2021, Wrexham are now chasing promotion to League Two.

Speaking with LiveScore, Foster said: “Wrexham were one of the clubs I got an offer from earlier in the season.

“I had a few offers. [Wrexham] would have been cool.

“I’m over the moon for them. I actually won the LDV Vans Trophy [EFL Trophy] with Wrexham. They’ve changed the name about 700 times since then.

“It’s good to see. The thing with Wrexham is it’s such a football community and the people really care about that club.

“Even when I was there, they were going through tough times financially and had some owners they didn’t quite trust.

“It’s nice to see they’ve now got owners that really care about not only the club but the community.”

Foster revealed he previously got an offer from Newcastle and he thought about it, however decided it would not be worthwhile given he lives four hours away in the Midlands with his family.

“Deep down I didn’t want to do it [turn down Newcastle],” Foster said on Fozcast.

“It sounds mad and it’s such a hard thing to explain because there’ll be millions of people up and down the country that will say ‘you’ve just been offered a contract, a really good contract, by the richest team in the world to go and be second-choice goalkeeper and be part of something’.

“But I just didn’t want to do it, I had this deep feeling, and the wrench of it was that I’d have to move away from home, that would kill me.

“If I’m in an apartment in Newcastle by myself, away from my family, I don’t think people can understand. That’s hard to do, especially at the age I am and with everything else I’ve got going on.

“I know for a fact if I’d have gone there I’d have had an amazing time, the lads would have been absolutely brilliant and I’d have buzzed off the stadium, the fans, all that kind of stuff, but the overriding sinking feeling was ‘I don’t want to do this.’

“I was just eating my dinner and I thought ‘no, I’m not doing it’. I’ve got to be happy and comfortable and I wouldn’t be able to do that so far away from my family. It would kill me.’

If he had accepted, he might have been in the Carabao Cup final defeat to Man Utd in February due to the absence of Toon stoppers Nick Pope or Martin Dubravka. Free signing Loris Karius went in goal instead.

The two-time League Cup winner is still convinced that he made the right decision to end his career.

Foster added: “Oh yeah, I’m double fine [about retiring]. I’m past that stage now.

“I would’ve been so stiff if I had played in that game! I know it just wouldn’t have happened.

“At the end of last season, I was still playing in the Premier League with Watford and Saturday was always a day where you felt it was all worthwhile.

“You’d get this adrenaline buzz but towards the end I just didn’t get it any more.

“Nothing has really come close to tempting me [back]. The last time I had a Premier League game is nine or 10 months now — I think the ship sailed.

“I’m at ease and at peace with that.”

He looks ahead to Soccer Aid, which take place in June at Old Trafford, where he will coach the goalkeepers for Soccer Aid World XI.

Having watched Soccer Aid as a fan, Foster is thrilled to get the chance to be involved.

He said: “Soccer Aid is like an institution now, isn’t it? It’s been going so long and does such good work every year.

“It just seems like a really nice atmosphere and it’ll be an absolute pleasure to play a part.

“Being a coach this year for some of the legends of the game as well, I feel a little bit sort of inferior.

“I don’t know at what point I’m able to say to some of the best goalkeepers in the world, ‘Try doing this a bit better’. But we’ll have a nice time either way.”

SOCCER AID SQUAD

England Soccer Aid team line-up
Captain: Jill Scott (Former footballer)
Paddy McGuiness (TV personality)
Bugzy Malone (Musician)
Tom Grennan (Musician)
Sir Mo Farah (Olympian)
Alex Brooker (Comedian)
Chunkz (YouTuber)
Joel Corry (DJ)
Jermain Defoe (Former footballer)
Karen Carney (Former footballer)
Gary Cahill (Former footballer)
Jack Wilshere (Former footballer)
Gary Neville (Former footballer)
Paul Scholes (Former footballer)
Eni Aluko (Former footballer)
David James (Former goalkeeper)

England Soccer Aid manager
Co-manager: Emma Hayes (Football manager)
Co-manager: Vicky McClure (Actor)

Rest of the World Soccer Aid team line-up
Captain: Usain Bolt (Fastest man on Earth)
Lee Mack (Comedian)
Steven Bartlett (Businessman)
Kem Cetinay (Reality TV star)

World XI Soccer Aid manager
Manager: TBC
Coach: Robbie Keane (Former footballer)

BEN FOSTER’S CAREER

Youth career
–2000 – Racing Club Warwick

Senior career
2000–2001 – Racing Club Warwick
2001–2005 – Stoke City
2002 → Bristol City (loan)
2002–2003 → Tiverton Town (loan) – 16 games
2004 → Stafford Rangers (loan) – 1 game
2004 → Kidderminster Harriers (loan) – 2 games
2005 → Wrexham (loan) – 17 games
2005–2010 – Manchester United – 23 games
2005–2007 → Watford (loan) – 81 games
2010–2012 – Birmingham City – 43 games
2011–2018 → West Bromwich Albion – 223 games
2018–2022 – Watford – 126 games
Total – 535 games

National team
2007–2014 – England – 8 games

This is what fans said as Ben Foster looks back on his career and reveals Wrexham tried to bring him out of retirement…

@Geraint4WxmAFC: Wow one that got away @VancityReynolds, @RMcElhenney @Wrexham_AFC @BenFoster

@JackDazzler: Ryan started following him on here last summer.

@xemma79x: Wish he would of come, would of been good to have him back for a bit

@AWGR_bw: How about a little summer 7-a-side tournament for us instead Ben

@lewis91102: Gutted! Would’ve loved to see Fozzy at the racecourse! @Wrexham_AFC

@foreverayellow: now this would ave been great to see

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