Wrexham goalkeeper Ben Foster has announced his immediate retirement from football after just five games of the 2023/24 campaign, the club’s official website revealed.
The 40-year-old shot-stopper revealed his intentions to quit professional football to manager Phil Parkinson after Saturday’s 5-5 draw with Swindon Town on Saturday, citing his own performances not meeting expectations as the reason for hanging up his gloves.
Foster’s form has come under criticism from some in recent weeks, with the Red Dragons conceding 13 goals in their opening four League Two fixtures, the most out of any team in the EFL.
This is the second time that the former Premier League ‘keeper has retired from the game, having previously called time on his career in September 2022 at the age of 39, after turning down a short-term deal at Newcastle United.
In March 2023, the eight-cap England international then made a stunning return to football, playing the final eight games of the National League season as he helped Wrexham secure the title and a return to the EFL for the first time in 15 years.
The Leamington Spa-born man committed to a further one-year contract at the end of the season, however, he now leaves the sport to allow Phil Parkinson to figure out his options while the transfer window is still open.
What’s been said?
Foster said: “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.
“Wrexham will always have a special place in my heart.”
Phil Parkinson said: “Ben has been the model professional while at Wrexham and has done everything we have asked of him.
The 55-year-old added: “It takes a big person to make the decision he has and one who really understands this Football Club, with the timing of his decision.
“I am sure I speak for everyone, when thanking him for his contribution that went far beyond that one magnificent penalty save against Notts County to help us gain promotion last season.
“Wrexham AFC was a better place for having Ben Foster around the club.”
Many have already taken to social media to mock the decision to retire, however, it takes a brave man to acknowledge that he feels he can’t quite cut it out at the level anymore.
The timing is also sensible to allow Wrexham to identify any potential replacements before the end of the window, but this is an area of the squad that is largely stacked in terms of numbers, so I am unsure whether the Welsh side will actually dip back into the market for this position.
As for Foster, I don’t think we’ll see him reverse his decision to retire for a second time, and he’ll now be able to look back on what has been a tremendous career.