BEN FOSTER enjoyed an illustrious career and played alongside some world class players but no-one compares to James McClean when it comes to hard work.

Foster first arrived at Wrexham on loan from Stoke City in 2005 and immediately caught the eye, earning him a move to Manchester United.

A former England international, goalkeeper Foster also played for West Brom, Birmingham and Watford before coming out of retirement to return to The Racecourse in March 2023, with the 41-year-old playing the final eight games of the season as Phil Parkinson’s men clinched the National League title.

Before hanging up his gloves again after the opening four matches of the 2023-24 League Two campaign, Foster was reunited with former West Brom team-mate McClean who joined the Reds from Wigan Athletic last summer.

Parkinson has hailed McClean’s athleticism and Foster gave an insight into the hard work that the former Republic of Ireland international, who played a starring role as Wrexham went on to finish runners-up to secure back-to-back promotions for the first time in the club’s history, puts in to stay in peak condition.

“I think James McClean is the hardest working player I have ever come across in my life,” Foster said on his Fozcast podcast about his former team-mate, now aged 35, whose contract has automatically been extended keeping him at Wrexham for the 2024-25 League One season.

“The very first day he signed, I used to get in early and get on the bike, and do my session on Zwift or whatever it was.

“I got in there probably an hour before the rest of the lads come in, as I am opening the gym door I could hear Ergo ski or something.

“It is the most brutal thing in the world. There’s two battle ropes running alongside it and he is on this Ergo ski sweating his tree off and I’m just like ‘alright mate’.

“He just looked at me as if to say ‘not now, I’m dying’, and carried on.

“He did a little circuit, this is at 8am and I am like ‘you’re an absolute animal’.

“That is James McClean in a nutshell and he was like that genuinely every day.”