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Ben Foster back to Wrexham to ‘pay off his debt’ to the club

Veteran goalkeeper Ben Foster has rediscovered his passion for football after coming out of retirement to help National League outfit Wrexham pursue promotion to the Football League.

The 40-year-old hung up his boots following Watford’s relegation from the Premier League last season after amassing over 120 appearances for the Hornets.

He had several bids to return to the game, with Newcastle United vying for his signature in the summer. But the ex-Manchester United goalkeeper was reluctant to live apart from his family.

Even Tottenham Hotspur came knocking on his door while seeking a back-up option for Hugo Lloris, who was injured at the time, yet Foster turned them down without giving it a second thought.

However, he received a call he couldn’t dismiss in March. Wrexham, the club that introduced him to senior football after signing him on loan from Stoke City in 2005, needed his services again.

Foster’s short-term loan at the Racecourse Ground put him on the radar of Man United boss Sir Alex Ferguson, who brought him to Old Trafford in the summer of 2005.

Eighteen years on, Wrexham and the experienced goalkeeper have been reunited with the sole purpose of helping the club regain the Football League status after a 15-year absence.

Although he had no problems rejecting the prospect of returning to the Premier League, Foster has had to rejoin the Red Dragons to ‘pay off his debt’ to the club.

“It’s the club I owe a lot to,” he told the Guardian. “If it was anybody else there would have been a question mark.

“I had so many offers earlier in the season. I had the big one from Newcastle, I had a couple from other Premier League teams, other teams around the world, in America, and nothing really fitted me.

“There was nothing I was really interested in, but this stuck out like a sore thumb.

“They’ve welcomed me back so well. I didn’t want to come and be a bit of a circus. I didn’t want it to be all: ‘Oh, he played in the Premier League last year and he does his YouTube and it’s all about getting content.’ It’s not about that, I promise you.

“It’s about playing good football and wanting to win.”

It didn’t take long before Foster gave a massive contribution to Wrexham’s cause, thwarting a late penalty in a 3-2 win over promotion rivals Notts County on Monday.

His save helped Phil Parkinson’s team go three points ahead at the top of the National League table with a game in hand and only four to go.

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