‘Cycling GK’ Ben Foster comes out of retirement to join Wrexham.
Promotion chasers and TV poster boys Wrexham are currently top of the National League, with an incredible 94 points from 38 games.
Owned by Hollywood duo and enterprising actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney, the Welsh side look to be powering their way to the Football League for the first time in over a decade.
Manager Phil Parkinson has used both Mark Howard (33 league appearances) and Rob Lainton (five league appearances) in the National League so far this season, with Lainton holding the starting spot for six of the previous seven league games to date.
But the National League leaders have decided to bolster their goalkeeping options, with ex-Watford, West Brom, and England, amongst others, goalkeeper Ben Foster joining the club. Foster brings with him a recently accrued large public following, owed largely to the success of his ‘Cycling GK’ brand and ‘Fozcast’ podcast, hosted with Tom Ochoa.
Foster reportedly turned down an offer from Newcastle earlier in the season, but now comes out of retirement aged nearly 40 to aid Wrexham's promotion cause.
Speaking to his new club, the Englishman said: 'I’m over the moon. I’ve been at the club an hour this morning and it seems a really nice place. Everyone is down to earth and the manager’s top class.
'It’s changed a lot since I was last here, but it’s nice to be back and it’s nice to be back as a player too. It will be interesting to see how my body feels after training today! I’m looking forward to getting started.
'The first time I was here, it was genuinely the springboard to the rest of my career – on the back of the loan move, playing in the LDV Vans Trophy Final at the Millennium Stadium, I got my move to Manchester United at the start of the next season. It was absolutely bonkers!
'If you’d told me 18 years ago that I’d have gone on to have the career that I have had, I probably wouldn’t have believed you to be honest so I do owe a lot to Wrexham'.
Foster's agent Richard Lee, speaking exclusively to Goalkeeper.com, added that "he's been flirting with the idea of a comeback for a little while. The Newcastle thing happened, but he was then very focused on his business. Things came up but nothing really took his fancy.
“When this one came about, the fact it's a short term deal and an exciting time for the football club, the opportunity to feel the highs of playing a match again really got him going. That was the main driver”, he continued.
Lee alluded to the deal being ‘our most creative to date’ on his Instagram story upon the announcement of the move. He explained that “it wasn't a simple deal; there were other factors in it given what Wrexham have going on [on the commercial side] and what Ben also has going on”.
"It was about figuring out a way that it worked for both parties whilst making sure that first and foremost it was about the football. Ben wants to add to what they're already doing - a great job - but there are also things that help both Wrexham and Ben longer term. So we explored a few different ideas that help both parties.
“Both Ben and the club were really keen for it to happen”.
Foster could make his debut when Wrexham face York City at the Racecourse Ground on Saturday.