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Player Database: Ben Futcher
By: Mike Gray
|Ben Futcher||2005/06||17 (6)||3 goals|
Beanpole centre back with an excellent reputation in the lower tier of the professional game. Signed for Grimsby in January 2006 after an unsuccessful short stay with local minnows Boston United.
Ben, the son of Mariners legend Paul Futcher started his career with Oldham Athletic in the 1999/2000 season but never fitted in and, after making only 11 appearances between July 1999 and January 2002, Futcher moved to Conference side Stalybridge Celtic where he had previously been on loan.
After spending only 3 months with Stalybridge, he moved to Conference rivals Doncaster Rovers where he was to make only 2 appearances in yet another short stay, this time only 2 months. Futcher then made a pre-season switch to cash strapped League Two relegation flirters Lincoln City, where under Keith Alexander he went on to play the best football of his career, a talisman in defence and an expert of goal scoring finishing top scorer for the club in the 2002/2003 season.
Futcher played a huge part in Lincoln's Play-Off campaigns and started in both their Millenium Stadium finals, the 5-2 defeat to Bournemouth, and the 2-0 defeat to Southend United. Then in a controversial decision Futcher turned down a new contract at Sincil Bank and moved to lowly neighbours Boston United, which left Lincoln manager Keith Alexander, his squad and the fans gobsmacked at his decision which he called a "footballing decision"
Boston never got to see the original Ben Futcher and his sluggish performances forced manger Steve Evans to drop him from the regular 11. And after only 6 months at York Street, he was allowed to join Grimsby Town.
Futcher found it alarmingly hard to get into the team with Player of the Season Rob Jones and skipper Justin Whittle the cream of the crop at centre back. In fact Futcher was a dire waste of space until Town reached the play-offs. With Rob Jones injured, a Futcher-inspired Grimsby crushed former team Lincoln City 3-1 on aggregate, and to top it off Ben got on the scoresheet as well.
With the new season on top of Grimsby, Ben was a certainty to partner Whittle with the exit of Rob Jones to Hibernian. However a few games into the season Futcher abused his 2 year contract and walked out on the club after a fall out with manager Graham Rodger. His next port of call was to link back up with ex-boss Keith Alexander, now with rivals Peterborough United.
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