'Now is the right time' Wrexham AFC's goalkeeper Ben Foster announces shock retirement mid-season

Ben Foster has retired from professional football due to his performances not reaching the "standard" he sets himself Credit: PA

Wrexham goalkeeper Ben Foster has announced his immediate retirement from professional football.

It is the second time Foster has hung up his gloves and comes just months after he rejoined the club.

Since his return to the STōK Cae Ras in March, the 40-year-old has made 12 appearances for the club.

In a statement on social media, Foster said: “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."

In the video, he added sometimes you have to "brutally honest with yourself" and accept "you can’t really do what you used to do."

Foster's retirement follows a 5-5 draw with Swindon Town on Saturday, after which he told manager Phil Parkinson about his decision to leave.

The former England international, who was capped eight times for his country, departs Wrexham with the club 15th in the League Two table four games into the new season.

He also played a key role in securing the club's return to the Football League after a 15-year-long absence, not least by saving a penalty in the 96th minute against promotion rivals Notts County, securing Wrexham a vital three points.

Thanking fans, he said that moment would "live long in my memory" and described as "one of my top three" moments in football.

Ben Foster played a key role in Wrexham's promotion last season. Credit: PA

Foster was a key signing following the takeover by Ryan Reynolds and fellow Hollywood star Rob McElhenney.

Paying tribute to the goalkeeper, who is well known for his online videos, Reynolds said: "He built memories I’ll never let go of for as long as I live. I love this guy. Thank you for everything, Ben."

Talking about Foster's contribution to the club, Phil Parkinson said: “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.”

In a career spanning almost two decades, Foster has also played for Manchester United, Birmingham City, West Bromwich Albion and Watford.

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