Player who rejected Newcastle United contract offer last year announces retirement

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Ben Foster has announced his retirement from football - less than 12 months after turning down Newcastle United.

Former Manchester United goalkeeper Ben Foster has announced his retirement from football - less than 12 months after turning down a contract at Newcastle United.

The 40-year-old was approached by the Magpies in September last year after an injury to Karl Darlow in training left Nick Pope and Mark Gillespie as the club’s only fit senior goalkeepers.

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Eddie Howe’s side eventually turned to former Liverpool shotstopper Loris Karius, but that was after Foster opted against a move to St James’ Park.

Former Manchester United goalkeeper Ben Foster has announced his retirement from football.  (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)Former Manchester United goalkeeper Ben Foster has announced his retirement from football.  (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)
Former Manchester United goalkeeper Ben Foster has announced his retirement from football. (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) | Getty Images

Foster explained: “The phone rings [from his agent Richard Lee], ‘Fozzy they’ve done it, they’ve agreed the contract, they’ve just sent it through. Everything you wanted. They want you up there tonight, they’ve already booked the hotel and you’ve got your medical in the morning.

“I had this gut feeling saying ‘do not do it’. I was eating my dinner and just decided ‘no, I’m not doing it’. I thought about it enough. I know it was only one or two hours since the offer was concrete but I’m not doing it.

“It sounds mad and it’s such a hard thing to explain because there’ll be millions of people up and down the country that will say ‘you’ve just been offered a contract, a really good contract, by the richest team in the world to go and be second choice goalkeeper and be part of something.’

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“But I just didn’t want to do it, I had this deep feeling, and the wrench of it was that I’d have to move away from home, that would kill me. If I’m in an apartment in Newcastle by myself, away from my family, I don’t think people can understand. That’s hard to do, especially at the age I am and with everything else I’ve got going on.

“I know for a fact if I’d have gone there I’d have had an amazing time, the lads would have been absolutely brilliant and I’d have buzzed off the stadium, the fans, all that kind of stuff, but the overriding sinking feeling was ‘I don’t want to do this.’”

Foster first announced then he was hanging up his boots but made a U-turn when he signed a short-term contract with Wrexham in March.

He helped the Welsh club achieve promotion to League Two and agreed to stay on for the 2023-24 campaign. However, four games into the newseason, Foster has once again called it a day.

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“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,” said Foster after conceded 13 goals this term.

“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.”

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