Former England international Ben Foster has retired from football for a second time.
Ex-Watford and Manchester United goalkeeper Forster walked away from the game last September, but was convinced to end his retirement and sign for Wrexham in March.
Foster saved a stoppage-time penalty against title-rivals Notts County the following month before Wrexham sealed promotion to Sky Bet League Two later in April, but he has now called time on his career following a difficult start to the new campaign.
He earned cult status during his second spell with the Welsh club for his spot-kick heroics in the 3-2 win over Notts County and agreed to remain part of co-owners Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney’s ambitions plans to haul Wrexham up the divisions when he signed a one-year contract in June.
Foster has found life tough in League Two though, conceding five goals in Wrexham’s opening-day loss to MK Dons and he shipped five again in a 5-5 draw with Swindon on Saturday.
The 40-year-old has now confirmed his retirement and told the official club website: “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.
“At the forefront of my mind when making this decision was not only what was best for me but also the club, and making the decision now gives the club every opportunity to assess their options before the window closes.
He built memories I’ll never let go of for as long as I live. I love this guy. Thank you for everything, Ben. https://t.co/8h6mAVeuqu
— Ryan Reynolds (@VancityReynolds) August 21, 2023
“Wrexham will always have a special place in my heart.”
Reynolds said on Twitter: “He built memories I’ll never let go of for as long as I live. I love this guy. Thank you for everything, Ben.”
Foster started his career at non-league outfit Racing Club Warwick in 2000 before representing Stoke, Manchester United, Birmingham, West Brom and Watford across more than two decades in the game.
He made 390 appearances in the Premier League and played eight times for England, featuring in the 2014 World Cup under Roy Hodgson.
— Football on TNT Sports (@footballontnt) April 10, 2023
Wrexham boss Phil Parkinson added: “Ben has been the model professional while at Wrexham and has done everything we have asked of him.
“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.”