Ben Futcher

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Ben Futcher
Ben Futcher 1.png
Futcher with Bury in 2009.
Personal information
Full name Benjamin Paul Futcher
Date of birth (1981-06-04) 4 June 1981 (age 33)
Place of birth Bradford, England
Height 6 ft 7 in (2.01 m)
Playing position Centre back
Club information
Current team
Bury
(Development Coach)
Youth career
Oldham Athletic
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1999–2002 Oldham Athletic 10 (0)
2001 Stalybridge Celtic (loan) 17 (1)
2002 Stalybridge Celtic 9 (0)
2002 Doncaster Rovers 2 (0)
2002–2005 Lincoln City 126 (14)
2005–2006 Boston United 14 (0)
2006 Grimsby Town 22 (3)
2006–2007 Peterborough United 25 (3)
2007–2013 Bury 119 (3)
2010–2011 Oxford United (loan) 6 (0)
2011 Mansfield Town (loan) 13 (1)
2012 AFC Telford United (loan) 3 (0)
2012 Macclesfield Town (loan) 10 (0)
2012 FC Halifax Town (loan) 0 (0)
Teams managed
2012 Bury (joint-caretaker)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 21:53, 6 May 2012 (UTC).
† Appearances (Goals).

Benjamin Paul "Ben" Futcher (born 4 June 1981) is an English former professional footballer and development coach at Football League Two side Bury.

As a player he was a defender from 1999 to 2013 notably playing for Lincoln City between 2002 and 2005 where he played in two play-off finals. He has also played for Oldham Athletic, Stalybridge Celtic, Doncaster Rovers, Boston United, Grimsby Town, Peterborough United, Bury, Oxford United, Mansfield Town, AFC Telford United, Macclesfield Town and F.C. Halifax Town. He is the son of former professional footballer, defender Paul Futcher.

Club career[edit]

Oldham Athletic[edit]

Futcher started off playing for Oldham Athletic, signing professional terms in July 1999. Futcher struggled to grasp first team opportunities at Boundary Park and in August 2001 was made available for a loan transfer to gain experience.[1] He linked up with Stalybridge Celtic, the club being managed by his father Paul,[2] where he spent three months on loan, making 17 appearances and scoring once.[3] On 3 January 2002 his contract with the Latics was cancelled by mutual consent.[3]

Stalybridge Celtic and Doncaster Rovers[edit]

And it was too be, Stalybridge, who Ben would sign for permanently in the January transfer window of 2002. Futcher went on to play in ten games for the Celtic, before joining fellow Conference side Doncaster Rovers.

Lincoln City[edit]

After playing in only two games for Rovers, manager Dave Penney released Futcher two months later at the end of the season. On 10 May 2002, he along with Dene Cropper became Lincoln City manager Keith Alexander's first signings of his second spell in charge at Sincil Bank.[4] With The Imps struggling in the previous season, it was to be a different string of events in the new season, despite a rocky start, Lincoln climbed the league, and with the help of Futcher, for his goals more than anything, The Imps qualified for the play-offs. As well as this, Ben finished the season as the club's top goal scorer, scoring over 10 goals, the majority of them being close range headers, from set pieces. In honour of this he was voted "Young Player of the Season" by the Club's management team.[5] A Simon Yeo inspired Lincoln dumped Scunthorpe United out of the Play-off semi-final and thus giving them the task of overcoming Bournemouth in the final at the Millennium Stadium. Lincoln lost the match 5–2, with Ben amongst the City scorers. For the next two years, Futcher was at the heart of the Lincoln defence and unfortunately faced two more Play-off defeats: losing out in the semi finals to Huddersfield Town in 2003/2004 and going down 2–0 after extra time against Southend United the following season in yet another final at the Millennium Stadium.

Boston United[edit]

In a shock move in the summer of 2005, Futcher announced he would be leaving Lincoln, to sign for county rivals Boston United. The Imps supporters questioned his ambition in moving to a somewhat smaller club, who was regarded as having a less chance of success than themselves.[citation needed] Futcher called the move a "footballing decision" but it was clear to some Lincoln supporters that money could have been a factor in his decision. With United boasting such ex-Premiership stars as Julian Joachim and Noel Whelan Bostons squad was arguably equipped to combat the league, but the club struggled to live up to its expectancies, and performances saw them hover around the relegation zone. On 12 January 2006, Futcher called time on his Boston career, and moved onto yet another Lincolnshire club.

Grimsby Town[edit]

This time he signed with promotion challenging Grimsby Town, who bolstered their squad as well with the signing of Curtis Woodhouse for the final promotion push. Futcher found it rather hard to break into the Grimsby side and often had to play second fiddle to Justin Whittle and Rob Jones. The Mariners, missed out on automatic promotion on the last day of the season, and this set them up with a Play-off semi final tie against Ben's former team, Lincoln City, who were now in the play-off's for the fourth season running. After a 1–0 Grimsby victory at Sincil Bank, Futcher scored in a 2–1 win in the leg at Blundell Park to send Grimsby into the final at Cardiff. The Mariners however failed to earn promotion, losing to Cheltenham Town in the final, thus meaning Futcher had now been on the losing team in a League Two play-off final, 3 times in the past 4 seasons.

Peterborough United[edit]

Ben then went and signed a contract with Peterborough United. Futcher linked up with Keith Alexander, once again but United achieved nothing that season, and with the installation of Darren Ferguson as manager, following Alexander's departure, Futcher left at the end of that season.

Bury[edit]

His next port of call was to sign for Bury where Alexander had just been appointed as the club's Director of Football. In Ben's first season, he helped the club to a mid table finish, and scored Bury's first goal in a 2–1 victory over Leeds United in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy. In the next season he became an integral part of the Bury team and at the end of the season the club activated a clause in his contract for Ben to stay for another year.

On 11 November 2010 Ben signed for fellow Football League Two side Oxford United on loan.[6] He returned to Bury on 4 January 2011 having played six games during his eight-week loan period.[7] After his return he played more regularly for the team, and in May 2011 he signed a new one-year contract extension.[8] In August 2011 he joined Mansfield Town on loan for an initial month.[9] In January 2012 he joined AFC Telford United on loan, making his club debut on 21 January against Cambridge United.[10]

In May 2012 he was offered a new contract by Bury as a player/development coach.[11] On 2 July 2012 he signed with Conference North side F.C. Halifax Town on a season long loan deal.[12] However a few weeks after signing for Halifax he was recalled to Bury without making a first team appearance as he was appointed joint-caretaker manager at the club.[13]

Coaching career[edit]

Futcher was appointed Player/Development coach in the summer of 2012, however he reverted to his coaching priorities after not being handed a squad number for the 2012–13 season. Futcher assisted Peter Shirtliff as joint-caretaker manager before the appointment of Kevin Blackwell.

Personal life[edit]

Ben is the son of ex-Manchester City, Oldham Athletic, Luton Town and Grimsby Town defender Paul Futcher. Other footballing members of Ben's family include his uncles Ron Futcher and Graham Futcher (both ex-Chester), cousins Danny Murphy (England international) and Stephen Futcher (ex-Wrexham). Futcher is studying part-time for a Bachelor's degree in Sports Performance at the University of Salford.[14]

In January 2011 Futcher was rocked by the death of close friend and former Lincoln and Macclesfield team mate Richard Butcher, in September 2012 he still claimed he is still effected by the passing of Butcher.[15]

Honours[edit]

Grimsby Town[edit]

Lincoln City[edit]

Career statistics[edit]

Club Season League Cup[16]
Apps Goals Apps Goals
Oldham Athletic 1990-00 5 0 1 0
2000–01 5 0 0 0
2001–02 0 0 0 0
All 10 0 1 0
Stalybridge Celtic (loan) 2001–02 9[17] 0 1 0
Stalybridge Celtic 2001–02 10[17] 1 0 0
Doncaster Rovers 2001–02 2[17] 0 0 0
Lincoln City 2002–03 43 8 6 3
2003–04 43 3 8 0
2004–05 35 3 7 0
All 121 14 21 3
Boston United 2005–06 14 0 5 1
Grimsby Town 2005–06 15 2 0 0
Career totals (Football League Only) 160 16 28 4

References and notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Three players made available". Oldham Athletic A.F.C. Official Website. 3 August 2001. Retrieved 11 November 2010. 
  2. ^ "Futch to link up with his Dad". Oldham Athletic A.F.C. Official Website. 13 August 2001. Retrieved 11 November 2010. 
  3. ^ a b "Futcher to Staylbridge?". Oldham Athletic A.F.C. Official Website. 3 January 2002. Retrieved 11 November 2010. 
  4. ^ "City in Double Signing Swoop". Lincoln City F.C. Official Website. 10 May 2002. Retrieved 13 October 2011. 
  5. ^ "Morgan Picks Up Silverware". Lincoln City F.C. Official Website. 3 May 2003. Retrieved 13 October 2011. 
  6. ^ "Futcher joins Oxford". Bury F.C. 11 November 2010. Archived from the original on 13 November 2010. Retrieved 11 November 2010. 
  7. ^ "Two back in, two out". Oxford United F.C. 4 January 2011. Retrieved 4 January 2011. 
  8. ^ "Ben Futcher signs new one-year deal at Bury". BBC Sport. 27 May 2011. Retrieved 28 May 2011. 
  9. ^ "Mansfield Take Giant Defender on Loan". Football Conference. 19 August 2011. Retrieved 22 August 2011. 
  10. ^ "AFC Telford 1 – 2 Cambridge Utd". BBC Sport. 21 January 2012. Retrieved 22 January 2012. 
  11. ^ "The Retained List". Bury FC. 8 May 2012. Retrieved 9 May 2012. 
  12. ^ http://www.halifaxafc.co.uk/News/article/dale-johnsonben-futcher-197972.aspx
  13. ^ http://www.bluesqnorth.com/story/0,20970,5880_7973506,00.html
  14. ^ "Futcher looks to perform on and off the pitch". Bury Times. 4 February 2010. Retrieved 5 February 2010. 
  15. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/19745266
  16. ^ Includes FA Cup, League Cup, Football League Trophy, FA Trophy and playoffs
  17. ^ a b c Non-League

External links[edit]