By Paul Jones
The last time Ben Foster came to Wales, he was forced to watch himself being waved at on his own camera after having a goal put past him.
That was two years ago when then Swansea City striker Jamal Lowe struck twice against Foster, before waving into the former Watford keeper’s GoPro camera he keep at the back of the net.
Since then much has happened in the world of football. Lowe left Swansea, Foster retired from the game, Wrexham were taken over by Hollywood stars Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney, and now Foster has come out of retirement to join the National League leaders.
The former England keeper could even make a remarkable debut for his new club at home to York City on Saturday.
It is an incredible 18 years since Foster played for Wrexham in a first spell with the club and the 39-year-old said: “It’s nice to be back.
“The first time I was here, it was genuinely the springboard to the rest of my career – on the back of the loan move, playing in the LDV Vans Trophy Final at the Millennium Stadium, I got my move to Manchester United at the start of the next season. It was absolutely bonkers!
“If you’d told me 18 years ago that I’d have gone on to have the career that I have had, I probably wouldn’t have believed you to be honest, so I do owe a lot to Wrexham.”
Foster made 26 Premier League appearances for Watford last season but then opted to retire and seemed to be concentrating on the ‘Fozcast – The Ben Foster Podcast’, which boasts 175,000 YouTube subscribers.
But he has now arrived back at Wrexham, having made more than 500 club appearances in total, as well as earning eight England caps.
Wrexham manager Phil Parkinson said of his signing: “We’re delighted to welcome Ben to the Club.
“With Rob Lainton getting injured at the weekend, it was important we had all bases covered going into the last part of the season, which this signing ensures.”
BREAKING: Goalkeeper Ben Foster comes out of retirement and joins Ryan Reynolds at Wrexham after Tottenham and Newcastle moves break down https://t.co/h5sdAgJKSw
— Mirror Football (@MirrorFootball) March 23, 2023
Wrexham have eight matches left to protect their three-point lead from Notts County at the top of the table, and have the ace up their sleeve of one game in hand on their rivals.
Even Notts County manager Luke Williams has claimed the battle is over and it’s Wrexham who are going back to the Football League without the need for any play-offs.
That may turn out to be a piece of kidology, especially if County were to beat Scunthorpe on Saturday and Wrexham somehow failed to collect all three points at home to York.
Foster will be anxious to keep a clean sheet on his second home debut although he admitted there is one big difference to when he made his debut as a 21-year-old in 2005.
“It will be interesting to see how my body feels after training! But I’m looking forward to getting started.”