Ben Roberts (footballer)

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Ben Roberts
Personal information
Full name Ben James Roberts
Date of birth (1975-06-22) 22 June 1975 (age 40)
Place of birth Bishop Auckland, England
Height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)
Playing position Goalkeeper
Club information
Current team
Brighton & Hove Albion (Goalkeeper Coach)
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1993–2000 Middlesbrough 16 (0)
1995 Hartlepool United (loan) 4 (0)
1995 Wycombe Wanderers (loan) 15 (0)
1996 Bradford City (loan) 2 (0)
1999 Millwall (loan) 1 (0)
1999 Millwall (loan) 10 (0)
2000 Luton Town (loan) 14 (0)
2000–2003 Charlton Athletic 1 (0)
2002 Reading (loan) 6 (0)
2002 Luton Town (loan) 5 (0)
2003 Brighton & Hove Albion (loan) 3 (0)
2003–2005 Brighton & Hove Albion 32 (0)
2007 Derry City 0 (0)
2009–2010 Yeovil Town 1 (0)
Total 110 (0)
National team
1997 England U-21 1 (0)
Teams managed
2009–2010 Yeovil Town (Goalkeeper Coach/Chief Scout)
2010–2015 Charlton Athletic (Goalkeeper Coach)
2015- Brighton & Hove Albion (Goalkeeper Coach)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.

† Appearances (Goals).

Ben Roberts is the current Head of Goalkeeping at Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club.[1] He is an ex-professional player who was forced in an early retirement, aged 29, by a reoccurrence of a long standing back injury. [2]

Early Career at Middlesbrough[edit]

Ben started out at Middlesbrough F.C. on the Youth Training Scheme in 1991 aged 16[citation needed] and quickly graduated through the ranks before making his first team debut aged 19 in the Anglo Italia Cup in Ancona. Loan spells at Hartlepool United (1994), Wycombe Wanderers (1994/95) & Bradford City (1996), preceded him making his Premier League debut against Sheffield Wednesday in February 1997. After an injury to Mark Schwarzer, Ben finished the ill-fated 1996/97 season as Middlesbrough's number 1 goalkeeper playing in the FA Cup Final (played every round after 3rd, due to Schwarzer being cup-tied), League Cup Final Replay and remaining Premier League games.[3] He is remembered for conceding a 43rd second strike from Roberto Di Matteo against Chelsea in the 1997 FA Cup Final at Wembley.

His remaining time with Middlesbrough saw him struggle with fitness and injuries and between back operations he spent time on loan at Millwall and Luton Town.

Later Career[edit]

Roberts transferred to Charlton Athletic in the Summer of 2000. Whilst with Charlton he had further loan spells at Reading, Luton Town again and Brighton & Hove Albion, before a permanent move to Brighton in 2003. His only appearance for Charlton came on the last day of the 2002-03 FA Premier League season, as he came on as a substitute against Fulham after Dean Kiely was sent off.[4]

After helping Brighton to promotion in the 2004 League One Play-Off Final at the Millennium Stadium against Bristol City,[5] a recurrent back injury forced him to retire in 2005 at the age of 29. He then graduated from Roehampton University with a First Class Honors Degree in Sports Science and Coaching and won the Adidas 'Pursuit of Excellence' award for his dissertation entitled ‘A Biomechanical Analysis of a Football Goalkeepers Jumping Technique’.

He was also capped for England at under-21 level.[6]

Coaching Career[edit]

In June 2009 he was appointed as goalkeeper coach and chief scout at Yeovil Town.[7] Roberts also occasionally stood in if the club had injuries, and he made his Yeovil Town debut in the 3 - 3 draw with Swindon on 30 October 2010, replacing Stephen Henderson at half time who suffered a head injury.[8] He combined his first full-time coaching role at Yeovil Town in 2009, with that of Chief Scout. During the two seasons at Yeovil Town, he was instrumental in the development of Alex McCarthy (2009/10) and Stephen Henderson (2010/11).

On 29 December, he left Yeovil Town for League One rivals Charlton Athletic.[9] During his tenure at Charlton, Ben has played a pivotal part in advancing the careers of Robbie Elliott, Ben Hamer, David Button & Nick Pope.

On 23 June 2015, Roberts returned to Brighton & Hove Albion as Goalkeeping Coach, replacing Antti Niemi who had left for Finland that summer. [1]

Other Interests[edit]

After retiring from football in 2005, Ben took a year out before university to backpack around the world, which included a 6 month spell living in Brazil where he closely studied Brazilian training methods.[citation needed]

He is also a keen runner, taking part in the London Marathon and Great North Run for the Asthma UK charity.


  1. ^ a b "Roberts Returns to Albion". Brighton & Hove Albion FC. 23 June 2015. Retrieved 23 June 2015. 
  2. ^ "Ben Roberts Retires". Brighton Mad. 29 March 2005. Retrieved 23 June 2015. 
  3. ^ "Where are they Now? #14 - 1997 FA Cup Final (Middlesbrough)". Long Ball Football (Wordpress). 11 May 2014. Retrieved 23 June 2014. 
  4. ^ "Fulham foil Charlton". BBC. 11 May 2003. Retrieved 3 August 2013. 
  5. ^ "Bristol City 0-1 Brighton". BBC. 30 May 2004. Retrieved 3 August 2013. 
  6. ^ CNN Sports Illustrated
  7. ^ "Duo join Yeovil's backroom staff". BBC Sport. 2009-06-25. 
  8. ^ "Yeovil 3 - 3 Swindon". BBC. 30 October 2010. Retrieved 3 August 2013. 
  9. ^ "Ben Roberts leaves Yeovil Town for Charlton Athletic". BBC Sport. 29 December 2010. Retrieved 23 June 2015. 

External links[edit]