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West Bromwich Albion FC Player Profiles

BEN FOSTER
  • 1
  • BEN FOSTER
  • GOALKEEPER

UPDATED 04:00 26th June 2013

ALBION won the race to sign key target Ben Foster on Friday, June 29, 2012 for an undisclosed fee.

The goalkeeper rejoined the club on a permanent deal after starring for the Baggies on loan from Blues during the 2011/12 campaign.

He penned a three-year contract, plus a further two-year option in the club's favour, committing his future to the club until June 2017..

Foster produced an outstanding 2012/13 season, and came back strongly from a seven-game absence following what was effectively a double-hernia operation in November.

He saved a Steven Gerrard penalty in a headline-grabbing performance as Albion beat Liverpool 2-0 at Anfield in February.

And the following month he was an unused substitute for England in World Cup qualifiers against San Marino and Montenegro after a change in family and injury circumstances persuaded him to make himself available for his country for the first time since May 2011.

He earned his sixth cap when he replaced Joe Hart at half-time of the 1-1 friendly draw with Ireland at Wembley – becoming the first Albion player to represent England since Scott Carson in Germany in November 2008, and the first to wear a Three Lions shirt in this country since Steve Hunt in 1984.

Foster dominated the voting as he was named Albion's 2011/12 Supporters' Player of the Year and Players' Player of the Year.

That season he kept ten clean sheets, equalling the club record for the most shut-outs in a Barclays Premier League campaign.

And only a groin injury ahead of the final game of the season against Arsenal prevented him from playing all 38 top-flight league games for the second successive year.

Foster moved to St Andrew's from Manchester United in summer 2010 and started all 38 of City's Barclays Premier League games that season.

He was named man of the match as he helped City clinch their first major trophy in 48 years by beating Arsenal 2-1 in February's Carling Cup Final.

It was the third time in as many seasons the Leamington-born keeper earned a League Cup winner's medal.

Foster was an unused substitute with United in the previous year's final.

But, in the 2009 showpiece, he memorably viewed iPod clips moments before saving Jamie O'Hara's spot-kick in a penalty shoot-out with Tottenham - a day when he was also named man of the match.

A month later, Foster made his second appearance for England as a half-time substitute in a 4-0 win over Slovakia - two years after making his debut against Spain.

The left-footed Foster started out at local club Racing Club Warwick and was plucked from non-league football by Stoke as an 18-year-old in April 2001.

He spent four years with the Potters, during which time he had loan spells at Bristol City, Kidderminster and Wrexham, where he won the 2005 Football League Trophy and was first spotted by Sir Alex Ferguson.

In July 2005, he made a dream £1million switch to United and was sent out on loan to Watford to gain first-team experience.

He spent two years at Vicarage Road, helping the Hornets seal promotion to the Barclays Premier League via the play-offs in his first season, keeping a clean sheet in the 3-0 final victory over Leeds at the Millennium Stadium.

Foster's star continued to rise the following term when his performances earned him Watford's 2006/07 Player-of-the-Season Award.

His form convinced Sir Alex to take him back to Old Trafford where he impressed in a 1-0 Barclays Premier League win over Derby on his Red Devils debut in March 2008.

His second competitive outing for United came in a Champions League Group draw at Celtic the following November.

Injury to Edwin Van der Sar during the first two months of the 2009/10 season saw Foster make eight successive top-flight starts.

But the Dutch legend's return to fitness meant he had to play second fiddle again and at the end of the campaign, he made a permanent switch to the second city to become Blues' No.1. 

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LAST UPDATED JUNE 26, 2013.

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