Ben Foster, a former goalkeeper for Watford and England, has announced his retirement from professional football.
The 39-year-old left Watford in the summer and was a free agent. He had previously made 223 appearances across all competitions for West Brom before spending four years at Vicarage Road.
He won the League Cup three times, twice with Manchester United and once with Birmingham, and was a member of the 2006 Premier League-promoted Watford team.
Foster disclosed on his podcast, the Fozcast, that Newcastle had made him an offer to fill in for the injured Karl Darlow temporarily but that he had declined it. In the end, Loris Karius, a former Liverpool goalie, was acquired by the Magpies.
“Deep down I didn’t want to do it [sign for Newcastle],” he said.
“It sounds mad and it’s such a hard thing to explain because there’ll be millions of people up and down the country that will say ‘you’ve just been offered a contract, a really good contract, by the richest team in the world to go and be second-choice goalkeeper and be part of something’.
“But I just didn’t want to do it, I had this deep feeling, and the wrench of it was that I’d have to move away from home, that would kill me.”
He added: “If I’m in an apartment in Newcastle by myself, away from my family, I don’t think people can understand. That’s hard to do, especially at the age I am and with everything else I’ve got going on.
“I know for a fact if I’d have gone there I’d have had an amazing time, the lads would have been absolutely brilliant and I’d have buzzed off the stadium, the fans, all that kind of stuff, but the overriding sinking feeling was ‘I don’t want to do this.'”
Foster represented England in eight international matches and was a member of the squad for the 2014 World Cup, where he recorded a clean sheet against Costa Rica in a dead rubber.