Ben Foster has announced that he is leaving Watford FC following their relegation from the Premier League.
The ups, downs, good, bad & ugly…it’s all part of the journey!
My time @WatfordFC is up, but a huge thanks for all the support & love Iv received from fans, players & staff in the 6 years with the club, it’s been a blast!
Looking forward to what next season will bring👌😘 pic.twitter.com/GCBuGsaI6b
— Ben Foster (@BenFoster) May 16, 2022
The goalkeeper, who has kept four clean sheets this season, has been linked with a move to the MLS. If this were to happen it would spell the end of his twenty-year stint in English football.
The 39-year-old has played for multiple clubs across different divisions. From the highs of Premier League titles to the lows of relegation, take a look back on the career of Ben Foster.
Foster started his career playing part time for Racing Club Warwick whilst also training as a chef at a local cafe. It’s a skill he still uses to this day as he has invested in a multi-thousand pound kitchen at his home.
Foster was able to fully focus on becoming a football after signing for Stoke City at the young age of 18-years-old; however, he would have to wait to make a senior appearance for the Potters as he was shipped out on loan to League Two side Kidderminster Harriers.
Making his senior debut on October 30th 2004, Foster suffered a 1-0 defeat against Shrewsbury Town.
Unfortunately for Kidderminster, they suffered relegation to the National League that season, but for Foster, his impressive performances earned him a January loan move to League One side Wrexham.
Foster must have had a bad luck charm in his first season as Wrexham also suffered relegation.
When returning to Stoke, the club decided it was best to sell Foster to Manchester United in 2005.
Consistent game time:
Before Forster could think about playing for United, he first needed to get consistent game time, which he was offered over a two back-to-back loans at Watford.
Foster made 73 appearances in a season and a half for the Hornets and had a rollercoaster of highs and lows along the way.
During his first three months, Foster helped Watford to a third-place finish and, in-turn, a play-off campaign which ended in promotion.
Fans were hopeful for the Hornets first campaign in the Premier League for several years, but a bottom place finish meant they went straight back down.
It’s trophy time:
Although Foster never consistently played for Sir Alex Ferguson’s side, he did win an array of trophies as their number two.
Two Premier League trophies and two EFL Cups, including one which needed Fosters penalty saving heroics to win, added some prestigious medals to the keepers cabinet.
🗓️#OnThisDay, in 2009, Manchester United won the League Cup by beating Tottenham 4-1 on penalties at Wembley. Ben Foster was the hero in goal for #mufc and was named man of the match 🧤🔴⚡ pic.twitter.com/2xsTzp0v3Q
— United Journal (@theutdjournal) March 1, 2022
After three years with the Red Devils, Foster left for Birmingham City in search of regular football.
THAT miraculous cup final:
He was only there for one season, but what a season for Foster to play as Birmingham City beat Arsenal in the EFL Cup final.
It was an underdog story like no other which would not have been possible without the class of Foster.
The scenes when Birmingham City beat Arsenal in the League Cup final in 2011 pic.twitter.com/rHheCcuCYX
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) April 17, 2020
The league was not as successful for the Blues as they got relegated from the Premier League.
Premier League establishment:
Foster signed for the Baggies in 2012 and remained there for six years and consistently played in the Premier League, switching between mid-table mediocrity and relegation scraps.
A stand-out performance that still remains with West Brom fans is a fantastic win 2-0 at Anfield where Foster saved a Steven Gerrard penalty. He also stopped the likes of Luis Suarez, Phillipe Coutinho and Raheem Sterling from scoring.
Foster eventually left the Hawthorns as an established Premier League footballer having made over 200 appearances for the club.
The last dance:
Foster returned to Watford in 2019 to help them gain promotion to the Premier League for the second time in his career.
Unfortunately for the Hornets, history repeated itself as Watford got relegated back to the Championship this season.
However, at the age of 39, Foster was always a professional who gave his all for the team.
Won the League Cup with Man Utd and Birmingham.
Won the Football League trophy with Wrexham.
Became a fan favourite at both West Brom and Watford.
Made over 1,000 saves since his PL debut.
Capped by the national side.
Still going at the age of 36.
Happy Birthday, Ben Foster. 🎈 pic.twitter.com/RMmL760nda
— bet365 (@bet365) April 3, 2019