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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only andIan Bennett (footballer) correct as of 12:00, 25 September 2006. * Appearances (Goals)
Ian Michael Bennett (born October 10, 1971 in Worksop, England) is an English footballer and goalkeeper who currently plays for Sheffield United
Starting with Queens Park Rangers in 1988, Bennett moved to Newcastle United in March of the same season. However, having failed to make a single appearance for either team he signed for Peterborough United. Between March 22, 1991 and December 17, 1993, he played 72 league games for Peterborough.
Bennett was signed by Barry Fry, then boss of Birmingham City, for £325,000 in 1993. He became the first-choice keeper at Birmingham for the next five years, making 287 league appearances, before, eventually losing his number one position to Kevin Poole in November 1998 due to injury.
However, Poole also succumbed to injury, enabling Bennett to return to the team until the 1999-00 season, when he was again plagued with injury this time being consistently replaced by Norwegian Thomas Myhre for the last two months of the campaign. A rare highlight of that season occurred during the League Cup when he saved a penalty for Birmingham taken by Alan Shearer, which earned him plaudits amongst fans and critics alike.
Although, the signings of Nico Vaesen (Summer 2000) and Maik Taylor (Summer 2003) meant that he was not able to play in goal for as many games as he wanted, he still made his 350th league appearance against Aston Villa in 2003/04.
In late 2004 was loaned out to Sheffield United where he impressed manager (Neil Warnock) in the five games he played as cover for the injured Paddy Kenny. After this he was loaned to Coventry City. During his loan spell, he became the first and only goalkeeper to be sent off in a competitive league match at Highfield Road, sent off in the 0-0 draw at home with Stoke City F.C.
On June 17, 2005, after 12 years at Birmingham, Bennett transferred to Leeds United who already had Scottish international goalkeeper Neil Sullivan as first-choice goalkeeper. Despite playing the pre-season friendlies, he was limited to a four league appearances during the 2004-05 season, obtained deputising for the injured Sullivan.
In July 2006, Bennett transferred for an undisclosed fee to newly promoted Sheffield United of the Premiership, signing on a two-year deal to provide competition to the Blades first-choice goalkeeper, Paddy Kenny. He played the first game of his second spell at the club at Bramall Lane against Reading on September 16, 2006.

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