Ben Foster enjoyed nine months of retirement after leaving Watford last year, saying he “would only come out of retirement for Wrexham” and It’s a good job he did as the 40-year-old put on a man of the match performance against league contenders Notts County, saving a penalty in the last minute.
Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenny watched intensely from the Racecourse Ground as Wrexham took on Notts County on Monday night in the National League – English football’s fifth tier and it genuinely felt like a game that belonged in the higher leagues.
Tensions were high and so were the stacks as both teams are aiming for guaranteed promotion while sitting on 100 points each, with Woking sitting 24 points behind them in third place.
The Red Dragons triumphed over the Magpies from Nottingham 3-2, with new signee Ben Foster showing his class and setting back the years by pushing the spot-kick away for a corner, which wasn’t even taken due to the referee calling time after the save.
Foster, the former Manchester United and England goalkeeper, came out of retirement to sign a short-term contract when he received an SOS from his former loanee club Wrexham, after the Welsh clubs current keepers Mark Howard and Rob Lainton sustained injuries.
Talking to ESPN, Foster explained the moment: “As a goalkeeper, to make a save in the last seconds, the last minutes like that, from a penalty to preserve the lead and to now be three points ahead with a game In hand… it’s a massive thing for Wrexham and for me too.”
Foster had previously been the shoot-out hero for Manchester United in the 2009 EFL Cup Final against Tottenham Hotspur and his current performances have left people wondering if he’ll extend his contract past the end of the current season.
Wrexham co-owners Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney, who purchased the club two years ago, also appeared ecstatic about the win with the Deadpool star warning Foster: “When I get my hands on Ben Foster, he’s going to be on the injured list because I’m going to break ribs, I’m going to hug him so hard.”
This win means everything to Wrexham because if they finish top in the National League, they’re guaranteed promotion to the English Football League (EFL) – which Wrexham haven’t been in since dropping out in 2008.
Finishing second means you face the intense play-offs with five other teams giving their all for that final spot of promotion – Wrexham lost at the semifinal stage last season.
Foster, who’s always believed football and technology should co-exist, saw his post-retirement future as a social media broadcaster and runs his successful football podcast called “Fozcast” – where I’m sure he’ll be explaining all his feeling after his last minute penalty save.
Having racked up 535 appearances for clubs such as Manchester United, Watford and West Bromwich Albion, plus eight games for England, Foster will continue to show his class and professionalism as he continues to help get Wrexham over the line for promotion – which his Hollywood club owners will be enthusiastic about.