Ian Bennett (footballer)
Bennett warming up in October 2012
|Full name||Ian Michael Bennett|
|Date of birth||10 October 1971|
|Place of birth||Worksop, England|
|Height||6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)|
|Current club||Huddersfield Town|
|1988–1989||Queens Park Rangers|
|2004–2005||→ Sheffield United (loan)||5||(0)|
|2005||→ Coventry City (loan)||6||(0)|
|* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 1 January 2013.
† Appearances (Goals).
QPR and Newcastle
Bennett, born in Worksop, Nottinghamshire, started his football career as a YTS trainee with Queens Park Rangers in 1988. He turned professional with Newcastle United in March of the same season. Bennett never made a single first-team appearance for either club, he signed for Peterborough United in March 1991.
Bennett signed for Peterborough United in March 1991. He made 89 appearances for the "Posh" (72 in the League) as they gained successive promotions from the old Fourth and Third Divisions between 1991 and 1993. After two seasons in the then First Division with the Posh, Bennett moved to Birmingham City for £325,000 in December 1993
Barry Fry signed Bennett for Birmingham City for £325,000 in December 1993. He became the first-choice goalkeeper at Birmingham, and in the 1994–95 season, he was ever-present as the club won the Division Two (third tier) title. for the next five years, making 287 league appearances, before, eventually losing his number one position to Kevin Poole in September 1998 due to injury.
However, Poole also succumbed to injury, enabling Bennett to return to the team until the 1999-00 season, when he was again plagued with injury this time being consistently replaced by Norwegian Thomas Myhre for the last two months of the campaign. A rare highlight of that season occurred during the League Cup when he saved a penalty for Birmingham taken by Alan Shearer. He made some fine saves in a losing cause in the 2001 Football League Cup Final against Liverpool.
Although the signings of Nico Vaesen in summer 2000 and Maik Taylor three years later meant that he was not able to play in goal for as many games as he wanted, Bennett still made his 350th Birmingham appearance against Aston Villa in the 2003–04 season.
In late 2004 he was loaned out to Sheffield United where he impressed manager Neil Warnock in the five games he played as cover for the injured Paddy Kenny. After this he was loaned to Coventry City. During his loan spell, he became the only goalkeeper to be sent off in a competitive league match at Highfield Road, sent off in the 0–0 draw at home with Stoke City.
On 17 June 2005, after 12 years at Birmingham, Bennett transferred to Leeds United who already had Scottish international goalkeeper Neil Sullivan as first-choice goalkeeper. Despite playing the pre-season friendlies, he was limited to four league appearances during the 2005-06 season, obtained deputising for the injured Sullivan.
In July 2006, Bennett transferred for an undisclosed fee to newly promoted Premiership club Sheffield United, signing on a two-year deal to provide competition to the Blades first-choice goalkeeper, Paddy Kenny. He played the first game of his second spell at the club at Bramall Lane against Reading on 16 September 2006. Despite making his full debut Bennett found first team chances difficult to come by thanks to the fitness and form of Paddy Kenny, making only nine starts in his first two seasons at Bramall Lane. His contract expired at the end of the 2007/08 season but despite reported interest from other clubs he signed a new one year deal in July.
The following season again saw his first team opportunities limited to only two league starts and appearances the League and FA Cups. Despite this he was offered another one year contract extension during the 2009 close season.
On 17 June 2010, after leaving Sheffield United, he was signed by Football League One side Huddersfield Town, reuniting with Gary Naysmith and manager Lee Clark who he was with when they were together at Newcastle United.
He made his debut in the 2nd Round of the League Cup against Everton at Goodison Park, as a replacement for Alex Smithies. His first start for the Terriers was on 5 October 2010, in the Football League Trophy match at the Galpharm Stadium against Peterborough United, which Town won 3-2. His first league start came 4 days later in the 3-0 win over Colchester United at the Weston Homes Community Stadium.
He has played more than expected due to injuries to first choice Smithies. In a 2-0 win over Carlisle United on 1 February 2011, Bennett made a brilliant saves twice from François Zoko. After the match, Carlisle United Manager Greg Abbott praises Bennett performance and said: "They were wonder saves and saves change games. If one of those had gone in it would have been different." On 18 May 2011 Bennett saved a penalty in the League One play-off semi-final penalty shootout against Bournemouth, which Huddersfield went on to win 4-2. The following 2011-12 season he saved two penalties in Town's 2-2 draw with Scunthorpe United at Glanford Park on 25 October 2011. On 3 July 2012, Bennett signed a new two-year contract which will see him stay on until the age of 42.
- Matthews, Tony (1995). Birmingham City: A Complete Record. Derby: Breedon Books. p. 72. ISBN 978-1-85983-010-9.
- Richards, Alan (30 September 1998). "Smart Mart is on the spot to stop Trev's misery run" (reprint). The Sun (NewsBank). Retrieved 19 June 1998.
- "Ian Bennett". ESPNsoccernet. Retrieved 19 June 2009.
- "Blues shot down as Liverpool lift cup". BBC Sport. 25 February 2001. Retrieved 19 June 2009.
- "Player profile Ian Bennett". Sheffield United F.C. Retrieved 19 June 2009.
- "Championship round-up". The Times. 28 February 2005. Retrieved 19 June 2009.
- "Blades swoop for keeper Bennett". bbc.co.uk. 2006-07-27. Retrieved 2008-07-01.
- "Sheffield Utd 1-2 Reading - Match Report". Sheffield United F.C. 2006-09-16. Retrieved 2008-07-01.
- "Keeper signs Blades deal". The Sheffield Star. 2008-07-01. Retrieved 2008-07-01.
- "Double player boost". Sheffield United F.C. 2009-05-28. Retrieved 2009-06-20.
- "Abbott praises Bennett saves". Sky Sports. 2 February 2011. Retrieved 10 July 2012.
- "Bennett pens new Terriers deal". Sky Sports. 3 July 2012. Retrieved 10 July 2012.