Ian Bennett (footballer)

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Ian Bennett
Ian Bennett.jpg
Bennett warming up in October 2012
Personal information
Full name Ian Michael Bennett
Date of birth (1971-10-10) 10 October 1971 (age 47)
Place of birth Worksop, England
Height 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Playing position Goalkeeper
Club information
Current team
Nottingham Forest (goalkeeping coach)
Youth career
1988–1989 Queens Park Rangers
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1989–1991 Newcastle United 0 (0)
1991–1993 Peterborough United 72 (0)
1993–2005 Birmingham City 287 (0)
2004–2005Sheffield United (loan) 5 (0)
2005Coventry City (loan) 6 (0)
2005–2006 Leeds United 4 (0)
2006–2010 Sheffield United 16 (0)
2010–2014 Huddersfield Town 58 (0)
Total 448 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Ian Michael Bennett (born 10 October 1971) is an English former footballer who played as a goalkeeper from 1989 to 2014, most notably representing Birmingham City between 1993 and 2005. He is currently the goalkeeping coach at Nottingham Forest.

Playing career[edit]

QPR and Newcastle[edit]

Bennett was born in Worksop, Nottinghamshire, and 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, and signed for Peterborough United in March 1991.

Peterborough United[edit]

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, Bennett moved on.[1]

Birmingham City[edit]

Barry Fry signed Bennett for Birmingham City for £325,000 in December 1993. He became the first-choice goalkeeper, was ever-present as the club won the 1994–95 Second Division (third-tier) title,[1] and remained as first choice for the next five years before losing his place to Kevin Poole in September 1998 because of injury.[2] A broken finger in 1999–2000 pre-season extended his absence, but he returned to the team in October for a League Cup match at home to Newcastle United. With his first touch, he saved a penalty kick taken by Alan Shearer and Birmingham went on to win 2–0.[3][4] He spoke after the match about his frustration with the injuries and his desire for first-team football, preferably with Birmingham.[3] He kept his place for a few weeks before being dropped because of his contractual dispute with the club, but signed a new deal in January 2000 and returned to the side, continuing as first choice until a broken thumb ruled him out for the last two months of the season. With Poole also injured, loanee Thomas Myhre completed the campaign.[5][6] Undisputed first choice the following season,[7] Bennett helped Birmingham reach the 2001 League Cup Final, in which he made some fine saves in a losing cause as Liverpool won on penalties.[8]

Although the signings of Nico Vaesen in summer 2001 and Maik Taylor two years later meant that Bennett was not selected as often as he wanted,[citation needed] he still made his 350th Birmingham appearance in October 2003, keeping a clean sheet against Aston Villa.[9]

In late 2004 he was loaned to Sheffield United where he impressed manager Neil Warnock in the five games he played as cover for the injured Paddy Kenny.[10] After this he was loaned to Coventry City. During his loan spell, his dismissal in the goalless draw to home to Stoke City made him the only Coventry goalkeeper to be sent off in a competitive match at Highfield Road.[11]

Leeds United[edit]

On 17 June 2005, after 12 years at Birmingham, Bennett transferred to Leeds United who already had Scottish international 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.

Sheffield United[edit]

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.[12] He played the first game of his second spell at the club at Bramall Lane against Reading on 16 September 2006.[13] Bennett found first-team chances difficult to come by thanks to the fitness and form of Kenny; he made 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.[14]

The following season again saw his first team opportunities limited to only two league starts and appearances in cup competitions. Nevertheless, the club took up their option to extend his contract for a further year.[15]

Huddersfield Town[edit]

On 17 June 2010, after leaving Sheffield United, he was signed by Football League One club Huddersfield Town, reuniting with Gary Naysmith and manager Lee Clark with whom he worked at Newcastle United.

Bennett made his debut in the second round of the League Cup against Everton at Goodison Park, as a replacement for first-choice goalkeeper Alex Smithies. His first start for the Terriers was on 5 October, in the Football League Trophy match at the Galpharm Stadium against Peterborough United, which Town won 3-2. His first league start came four days later in the 3-0 win over Colchester United.[16]

He played more than expected due to injuries to Smithies. In a 2-0 win over Carlisle United on 1 February 2011, Bennett twice made saves from François Zoko. After the match, Carlisle United manager Greg Abbott praised Bennett performance and said: "They were wonder saves and saves change games. If one of those had gone in it would have been different."[17] On 18 May, he 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 season he saved two penalties in Town's 2-2 away draw with Scunthorpe United on 25 October 2011. At the end of the season, Bennett signed a new two-year contract which would see him stay on until the age of 42.[18]

Coaching career[edit]

Bennett's playing contract expired in May 2014. However, after Nick Colgan was appointed as senior goalkeeping coach, Bennett was appointed to Colgan's previous role as goalkeeping coach for the Huddersfield Town academy.[19]

A year later, Bennett left the Yorkshire club after five years in order to take up an Academy coaching role at Nottingham Forest.[20]


Birmingham City

Huddersfield Town


  1. ^ a b Matthews, Tony (1995). Birmingham City: A Complete Record. Derby: Breedon Books. p. 72. ISBN 978-1-85983-010-9.
  2. ^ Richards, Alan (30 September 1998). "Smart Mart is on the spot to stop Trev's misery run". The Sun. London. p. 36. Retrieved 14 April 2018 – via NewsBank.
  3. ^ a b Skidmore, Roger (17 October 1999). "Bennett's back under the Blues spot-light". Sunday Mercury. Birmingham. Retrieved 17 April 2018 – via The Free Library.
  4. ^ "Sport: Football: Birmingham crush 10-man Magpies". BBC News. 12 October 1999. Retrieved 14 April 2018.
  5. ^ Tattum, Colin (1 April 2000). "Football: Unlucky Poole struck down". Sports Argus. Birmingham. Retrieved 17 April 2018 – via Infotrac Newsstand.
  6. ^ Marshall, Adam (April 1999). "Blues crisis averted as Myrhe signs". Sky Sports. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  7. ^ "Games played by Ian Bennett in 2000/2001". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  8. ^ "Blues shot down as Liverpool lift cup". BBC Sport. 25 February 2001. Retrieved 19 June 2009.
  9. ^ "Games played by Ian Bennett in 2003/2004". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 17 April 2018.
  10. ^ "Player profile Ian Bennett". Sheffield United F.C. 16 September 2004. Archived from the original on 15 June 2009. Retrieved 19 June 2009.
  11. ^ Brown, Jim (15 November 2014). "FA Cup defeat was a black day in Coventry City's history". Coventry Telegraph. Retrieved 14 April 2018.
  12. ^ "Blades swoop for keeper Bennett". BBC Sport. 27 July 2006. Retrieved 1 July 2008.
  13. ^ "Sheffield Utd 1-2 Reading - Match Report". Sheffield United F.C. 16 September 2006. Archived from the original on 10 February 2012. Retrieved 1 July 2008.
  14. ^ "Keeper signs Blades deal". The Sheffield Star. 1 July 2008. Retrieved 27 December 2017.
  15. ^ "Double player boost". Sheffield United F.C. 28 May 2009. Archived from the original on 30 May 2009. Retrieved 20 June 2009.
  16. ^ "Games played by Ian Bennett in 2010/2011". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 14 April 2018.
  17. ^ "Abbott praises Bennett saves". Sky Sports. 2 February 2011. Retrieved 14 April 2018.
  18. ^ "Bennett pens new Terriers deal". Sky Sports. 3 July 2012. Retrieved 14 April 2018.
  19. ^ Booth, Mel (2 July 2014). "Ian Bennett back at Huddersfield Town as Lead Academy Goalkeeping Coach". Huddersfield Daily Examiner. Retrieved 14 April 2018.
  20. ^ Thomson, Doug (30 June 2015). "Huddersfield Town confirm academy goalkeeping coach Ian Bennett's move to Nottingham Forest". Huddersfield Daily Examiner. Retrieved 14 April 2018.

External links[edit]