Ben Foster quits Wrexham and retires immediately after criticism of performance

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    Ben Foster has sensationally quit Wrexham with immediate effect.

    The former Manchester United goalkeeper will return to retirement less than a year after stepping back out on the pitch to help Wrexham earn promotion to the EFL.

    But his start to life in League Two has been far from rosy. He has failed to keep a clean sheet in any of his four outings in the league and has conceded five on two occasions.

    The 5-5 draw with Swindon Town this past weekend resulted in criticism from supporters of both Wrexham and vloggers elsewhere, with his footwork particularly criticised.

    READ MORE: Ryan Reynolds' 'coked up' message to Wrexham fans after staggering 5-5 draw

    Foster, 40, was targeted for failing to be able to get down low to shots in the bottom corner of the goal.

    He was, arguably, at fault for Swindon's second goal of the afternoon, rushing out to claim a cross that ex-Premier League star Charlie Austin got to first, before prodding home from close range.

    He was then beaten by Dan Kemp from long range and Jake Young for a second time, who capitalised on a Wrexham defensive mix-up that Foster could do little about.

    Where do you think Wrexham will finish this season? Let us know in the comments section.

    The veteran stopper was slow getting down to his right hand side as Kemp got his second and Swindon's fifth midway through the second half. Thankfully, late goals from Elliot Lee and James Jones rescued a point for Wrexham, who have had a mixed start on their return to League Two.

    After an opening day 3-5 home defeat to MK Dons, the Red Dragons are now undefeated in three, having shared the spoils against Swindon and AFC Wimbledon and beaten Walsall. But following Saturday's entertaining draw, Foster spoke with manager Phil Parkinson to make clear his intentions to step away.

    The veteran shot-stopper has now revealed: “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. Wrexham will always have a special place in my heart.”

    Football fans on social media had made their feelings known that it was probably time for Foster to walk away, as one fan cruelly posted on Twitter: “Keeper needs to stick to YouTube,” with a second quipping: “Can’t wait for the GoPro in goal vlog!”

    Wrexham boss Parkinson, though, defended his keeper and praised him following the decision, saying: “Ben has been the model professional while at Wrexham and has done everything we have asked of him.

    “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.”

    Co-owner Ryan Reynolds, who enjoyed a great relationship with Foster, and helped convince him to stay on for the new season alongside Rob McElhenney, tweeted to say: "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's career ends on 543 club appearances, along with eight England caps. And prior to helping Wrexham achieve promotion back to the Football League, he won silverware during his career at the likes of Manchester United and Birmingham, lifting the League Cup trophy in three consecutive seasons between 2009 and 2011.

    • Wrexham Football Club
    • League Two
    • Ryan Reynolds

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