Robbie Benson

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Robbie Benson
Dundolk-Zenit (13).jpg
Personal information
Full name Robert Benson
Date of birth (1992-05-07) 7 May 1992 (age 25)
Place of birth Athlone, Ireland
Height 1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Playing position Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Number 18
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2008–2010 Athlone Town 38 (5)
2010–2015 U.C.D. 129 (27)
2016– Dundalk 51 (11)
National team
2007–2008 Republic of Ireland U16 3[1] (0)
2008–2009 Republic of Ireland U17 3[2] (1)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 08:24, 18 November 2017 (UTC).
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 00:42, 06 August 2016 (UTC)

Robbie Benson (born 7 May 1992) is an Irish professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Dundalk in the League of Ireland Premier Division.[3] He has also played for his hometown club, Athlone Town, and U.C.D. Benson has made 10 appearances in European competition throughout his career and was part of the Dundalk team that became the first Irish side ever to reach the play-off stage of the UEFA Champions League in August 2016.[4] Benson scored twice for the club on their European run, including a volleyed goal against Legia Warsaw in the play-off round that received worldwide media coverage.[5]

Early life[edit]

Benson was born in Athlone and attended Marist College in the town between 2004 and 2010 where he studied for his Leaving Certificate.[6] He played underage football for local club St. Francis.[7]

Professional career[edit]

Athlone Town[edit]

Benson began his career with Athlone Town, making his debut against Waterford United in the Regional Sports Centre on 3 October 2008.[8] He spent the following two seasons playing in the First Division with the club. After achieving 600 points in his Leaving Certificate examinations, Benson gained a scholarship with U.C.D. in September 2010.[9] This allowed him to combine his academic studies with football, and he majored in chemistry and maths before earning a master’s degree in actuarial science.[10][11]


Benson was unable to play for U.C.D's league side during the closing stages of the 2010 season due to scholarship regulations, however he joined up with the senior squad for the 2011 season, making 20 league appearances in the Premier Division and scoring five goals. Benson became a mainstay of the side during the 2012 season, playing a part in 31 league games for the club and scoring three goals in the process, as U.C.D. finished ninth and avoided relegation.

Benson remained with U.C.D. for the 2013 season, and scored a career-high nine league goals in 25 appearances during the campaign, as U.C.D. once more finished ninth. In 2014, Benson was made the captain of the team and played in all 35 league games for the club, scoring three goals. However, U.C.D. were relegated at the end of the season after losing a play-off to Galway United. Despite this, Benson chose to stay with U.C.D. in 2015 as he wished to complete his studies before later making the move to full-time football.[12] He made his European debut in July 2015, captaining his side to a 1–0 win over Dudelange in the Europa League first qualifying round. He went on to make a further 3 appearances in the Europa League as U.C.D. eliminated Dudelange and met Slovan Bratislava in the following round. Throughout the 2015 campaign, Benson played in eighteen league games and scored seven goals as U.C.D. ultimately lost out on promotion to the Premier Division in a play-off against Finn Harps.


Despite interest from St. Patrick's Athletic, Shamrock Rovers and Cork City, Benson signed for Dundalk in December 2015, citing the opportunity to work under boss Stephen Kenny as being one of the deciding factors.[13][14][15] He joined up with five other former U.C.D. players at the club – David McMillan, Andy Boyle, Darren Meenan, Ronan Finn and Ciarán Kilduff.[13] He scored the third goal in the 3–0 home defeat of BATE Borisov to help Dundalk become the first Irish side to reach the play-off round of the Champions League,[16] and followed this up with a 92 km/h volleyed goal against Legia Warsaw in the play-off round that received widespread exposure in international media and on social media.[17] Benson considers this to be the greatest goal of his career to date.[18] He was rewarded for his Champions League displays by being named Soccer Writers’ Association of Ireland Player of the Month for August 2016.[19]

International career[edit]

Benson was a key member of the Irish Schools side which won the Centenary Shield in 2010 including scoring the winner against England which sealed the trophy for Ireland. He was named the FAI’s Under 18 International Schools Player of the Year in 2009–10.[6] He has also represented Ireland at under-16 and under-17 levels.






  1. ^ "Player's profile on". Retrieved 28 August 2016. 
  2. ^ "Player's profile on". Retrieved 28 August 2016. 
  3. ^ Soccerbase Player Profile|
  4. ^ "Robbie Benson – UEFA player profile". UEFA. 30 August 2016. Retrieved 30 August 2016. 
  5. ^ "LIAM MACKEY: Benson racks up a stylish hat-trick for the remarkable Robbies". Irish Examiner. 27 August 2016. Retrieved 30 August 2016. 
  6. ^ a b "Robbie Benson awarded FAI International Schools' accolade". FAI Schools. 8 February 2011. Retrieved 30 August 2016. 
  7. ^ "Athlone's Robbie stars in €1.2m Champions League success for Dundalk". Westmeath Independent. 21 July 2016. Retrieved 30 August 2016. 
  8. ^ "Robbie Benson - player profile". 13 September 2016. Retrieved 13 September 2016. 
  9. ^ "Returning to Athlone as men – but UCD's skipper was a plane journey away from another path". 23 May 2014. Retrieved 30 August 2016. 
  10. ^ "Former student Robbie Benson ready to return to his old campus after learning Euro lessons". Retrieved 9 September 2016. 
  11. ^ "O'Donnell and Benson talk Dundalk". UEFA. Retrieved 9 September 2016. 
  12. ^ "Dundalk's Robbie Benson: I was never going to leave UCD while studying". Retrieved 9 September 2016. 
  13. ^ a b "Benson and McEleney sign for Dundalk". Retrieved 26 August 2016. 
  14. ^ "Dundalk make two big signings as they bid to replace Richie Towell". Retrieved 26 August 2016. 
  15. ^ "Dundalk land McEleney and Benson". Irish Independent. Retrieved 26 August 2016. 
  16. ^ "'We're not content with the Europa League' - Dundalk's Robbie Benson". Irish Independent. Retrieved 9 September 2016. 
  17. ^ "Robbie Benson on his wondergoal: At the time, I didn't think I caught it that sweet". Retrieved 9 September 2016. 
  18. ^ "Champions League Goal "Best I've Scored By A Mile" – Dundalk's Robbie Benson". Retrieved 9 September 2016. 
  19. ^ "600 points in the Leaving Cert, a master's degree and two goals in this season's Champions League". Retrieved 9 September 2016. 
  20. ^ "Dundalk midfielder Robbie Benson crowned Player of the Month". 8 September 2016. Retrieved 25 September 2016. 

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