Ben Thatcher

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Ben Thatcher
Personal information
Full name Benjamin David Thatcher
Date of birth (1975-11-30) 30 November 1975 (age 38)
Place of birth Swindon, England
Height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Playing position Left back
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1992–1996 Millwall 90 (1)
1996–2000 Wimbledon 86 (0)
2000–2003 Tottenham Hotspur 36 (0)
2003–2004 Leicester City 29 (1)
2004–2007 Manchester City 47 (0)
2007–2008 Charlton Athletic 22 (0)
2008–2010 Ipswich Town 20 (0)
Total 330 (2)
National team
1995–1997 England U21 4 (0)
2004–2005 Wales 7 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 18:20, 28 February 2010 (UTC).

† Appearances (Goals).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 18:20,03 September 2009 (UTC)

Benjamin David "Ben" Thatcher (born 30 November 1975 in Swindon, Wiltshire) is a former association football player. He played for a number of English clubs, and has featured in more than 300 English league games from his position as a left-sided defender, all of which were in the top two leagues in the country.

He represented England's under-21 national team on four occasions, but chose to represent the Wales national team in his senior years, for whom he earned seven caps.

Career[edit]

As a youth, Thatcher played Sunday League football for various amateur teams in London, before attending the Football Association (FA)'s School of Excellence at Lilleshall.[1]

Millwall[edit]

Upon graduation, he signed his first professional contract with Millwall, making his debut in the 1993–94 season at the age of 18.The following season he established himself in the Millwall first team, and scored his first goal as a professional. He made more than 100 appearances for Millwall, and won their Player of the Year award for the 1995–96 season.[2]

Wimbledon[edit]

In the 1996 close season, he was transferred to Wimbledon F.C. for a fee of £1,840,000. In his first season at Wimbledon, Thatcher made only nine appearances, but played more regularly in subsequent seasons. After Wimbledon's relegation from the Premiership in the 1999–2000 season Thatcher moved to Tottenham Hotspur

Tottenham Hotspur[edit]

Thatcher cost Tottenham Hotspur a fee of around £5 million in the Summer of 2000. A few months after the transfer, Spurs manager George Graham was sacked, and Thatcher featured less frequently under successor Glenn Hoddle, though he was a member of the Spurs team for the 2002 League Cup final.

Leicester City[edit]

He subsequently moved to Leicester City in a £300,000 transfer deal in the summer 2003,[3] immediately proceeding to attack Glenn Hoddle's style of management.[4] After a single season at Leicester, Thatcher once again found himself in the arms of a relegated club, and moved to Manchester City. He scored once in the league for Leicester, in a 4–4 draw with his former club Spurs.[5]

Manchester City[edit]

His move to Manchester City cost around £100,000. His Manchester City debut came on the opening day of the 2004–05 season against Fulham. He was initially the first choice left-back at Manchester City, but a combination of injuries and the emergence of Stephen Jordan limited him to 21 appearances in his first season for the club. In January 2005 Thatcher nearly joined Fulham for a fee of £500,000 after a series of burglaries unsettled his family, but the move fell through.[3][6] His second Manchester City season followed a similar pattern to the first, with most of his 19 starts coming in the first half of the season.

Thatcher gained notoriety on 23 August 2006, in a game between Manchester City and Portsmouth. Whilst challenging with Pedro Mendes for a loose ball Thatcher viciously and intentionally led with his elbow, knocking Mendes into the advertising hoardings rendering him unconscious. Mendes required oxygen at pitchside and suffered a seizure while being transferred to hospital, where he spent the night. Mendes was discharged from hospital the next day, but remained under medical supervision.[7] Thatcher was investigated by the FA as a result of the challenge. He was disciplined and his barrister, Rupert Bowers, read a written apology following the hearing.[8] Greater Manchester Police noted receipt of many "statements of complaint" and also chose to investigate the matter.[9] On 30 August, Manchester City announced that Thatcher would be banned for six matches, two of which would be suspended, and fined six weeks' wages for the challenge.[10] This punishment is separate from the sanctions made by the FA, who suspended Thatcher for eight matches, with a further fifteen game suspended ban for two years.[11]

Thatcher also faced possible action from Lancashire Police over a clash with ex-Blackburn Rovers player Ralph Welch during a reserve game at Ewood Park in February 2006.[12]

Charlton Athletic[edit]

He signed for Charlton Athletic on 11 January 2007 for a reported fee of £500,000, which could rise to £750,000 depending on appearances.[13] He played his first match for Charlton Athletic on 23 January 2007 against Middlesbrough [14] The team were relegated from the Premier League at the end of the season

Ipswich Town[edit]

Thatcher joined Ipswich Town on 14 August 2008 on a one-year contract with an option to extend it for a further year.[15] His contract was terminated by Roy Keane on 26 February 2010,[16] due to his refusal to move closer to the club.

International career[edit]

During his time at Wimbledon, Thatcher played for the England under-21 team four times.[17] However, in 2004 he opted to play for Wales, for whom he qualifies due to his Welsh grandmother.[18] His debut international performance came against Hungary, in a 2–1 victory in March 2004, and by October 2004 he had earned seven caps for Wales.

In October 2004, John Toshack was appointed new Welsh national team coach, but Thatcher did not play any games under Toshack, due to suspensions and injuries. Thatcher did not play Wales' 2006 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches against England and Poland in early September 2005 on grounds of injury, while playing full-time three days later when Manchester City met cross-city rivals Manchester United. This angered Toshack, and Thatcher was categorically left out of the Welsh national team in September 2005.[19]

Statistics[edit]

As of 19 April 2009
Club Performance
Club Season League[20] FA Cup League Cup Europe Others[21] Total
App Goals App Goals App Goals App Goals App Goals App Goals
Millwall F.C. 1993–94 8 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 10 0
1994–95 40 1 4 0 4 0 0 0 0 0 48 1
1995–96 42 0 2 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 46 0
Subtotal 90 1 7 0 6 0 0 0 1 0 104 1
Wimbledon F.C. 1996–97 9 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 9 0
1997–98 26 0 3 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 32 0
1998–99 31 0 2 0 7 0 0 0 0 0 40 0
1999–2000 20 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 22 0
Subtotal 86 0 5 0 12 0 0 0 0 0 103 0
Tottenham Hotspur F.C. 2000–01 12 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 15 0
2001–02 12 0 2 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 17 0
2002–03 12 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 14 0
Subtotal 36 0 3 0 7 0 0 0 0 0 46 0
Leicester City F.C. 2003–04 29 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 29 1
Subtotal 29 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 29 1
Manchester City F.C. 2004–05 18 0 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 21 0
2005–06 18 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 19 0
2006–07 11 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 11 0
Subtotal 47 0 1 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 51 0
Charlton Athletic F.C. 2006–07 11 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 11 0
2007–08 11 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 11 0
Subtotal 22 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 22 0
Ipswich Town F.C. 2008–09 20 0 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 23 0
Subtotal 20 0 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 23 0
Career total 330 2 17 0 30 0 0 0 1 0 378 2

Honours[edit]

  • League Cup
    • 2001–02 runners-up, with Tottenham Hotspur

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Profile:Ben Thatcher". Match programme, Manchester City v Birmingham City (Manchester City FC). 17 December 2005. p. 29. 
  2. ^ "Ben Thatcher". The Millwall History Files. Retrieved 3 October 2006. 
  3. ^ a b "Player Profile : Ben Thatcher". 4thegame. Fast Web Media Ltd. Retrieved 1 September 2006. [dead link]
  4. ^ "Thatcher snipes at Hoddle". BBC Sport. BBC. 2003-07-22. Retrieved 1 October 2006. 
  5. ^ "Tottenham 4-4 Leicester". BBC. 22 February 2004. Retrieved 4 September 2009. 
  6. ^ "Thatcher not joining". Fulham Official Website. 25 January 2005. Retrieved 11 April 2014. 
  7. ^ James Ducker (2006-08-24). "Thatcher could face police investigation". Times Online. London: Times Newspapers Ltd. Retrieved 24 August 2006. 
  8. ^ [1]
  9. ^ "Police, FA investigate Thatcher 'tackle'". Setanta Sports. Setanta. 2006-08-24. Archived from the original on 8 September 2006. Retrieved 24 August 2006. [dead link]
  10. ^ "Man City hand Thatcher ban & fine". BBC Sport. BBC. 2006-08-30. Archived from the original on 2 September 2006. Retrieved 30 August 2006. 
  11. ^ "Thatcher banned for eight matches". BBC Sport. BBC. 2006-09-12. Retrieved 12 August 2006. 
  12. ^ "Thatcher faces second elbow probe". BBC Sport. BBC. 2006-09-07. Retrieved 2 October 2006. 
  13. ^ "Thatcher completes Charlton move". BBC Sport. BBC. 2007-01-11. Archived from the original on 13 January 2007. Retrieved 11 January 2007. 
  14. ^ "Tactical Formation". Football-Lineups.com. Archived from the original on 18 February 2007. Retrieved 20 January 2007. 
  15. ^ "Thatcher deal finally done". Green 'Un. 2008-08-14. Retrieved 2008-08-14. 
  16. ^ "Thatcher leaves Town". Ipswich Town F.C. 2010-02-26. Retrieved 2010-02-28. 
  17. ^ "Ben Thatcher". ESPN Soccernet. ESPN Internet Ventures. Retrieved 24 August 2006. 
  18. ^ "Margetson earns Wales call". BBC Sport. BBC. 2004-03-17. Retrieved 24 August 2006. 
  19. ^ "Toshack slates Thatcher's desire". BBC Sport. BBC. 2005-09-29. Retrieved 23 September 2006. 
  20. ^ Includes Football League (1993–941995–96 & 2007–08 – ) and Premier League matches (1996–972006–07)
  21. ^ Includes Play-Off, Football League Trophy and FA Community Shield matches

External links[edit]