Academy product Ben was an integral part of the record-breaking backline on which Boro built the promotion success in the 2015/16 season.

Equally at home at left-back or in central defence, Nunthorpe-born Ben made winning trophies a good habit early in his career for both club and country.

He turned professional on July 1 2010 as one of six Academy players handed their first pro contracts.

Just a few weeks prior, in May 2010, he was part of the first England men's team to win a major tournament for 17 years when they lifted the UEFA European U17 Championship.

He had earlier been part of the Boro team that won the Nike Cup in 2008 before beating Real Madrid and Juventus and remaining unbeaten in the European finals, while he also helped England U17s lift the Nordic Cup in Norway in August 2009.

Ben joined Boro from Marton aged 12, and first team debut came as a substitute for Andrew Davies shortly before half-time in Boro's 2-1 win over Coventry City on April 25 2011.

Early in the 2011/12 season Ben, nephew of Boro Chairman Steve Gibson, spent a successful spell on loan at Plymouth Argyle, playing 16 games between August and December as they fought an ultimately successful battle against relegation.

Later in the campaign he joined York City, helping the Minstermen win the Blue Square Bet Premier play-off final against Luton Town and then returning to Wembley to lift the FA Trophy eight days later.

At the start of 2012/13 he went on loan to League One Tranmere Rovers and had played every minute of the season for Ronnie Moore table-topping side before returning to Boro with a thigh injury. 

He also signed a new four-year contract committing him to Boro until 2016 and he became a regular member of the first team squad in 2013/14, scoring his first goal for the club in a 1-1 draw with Huddersfield Town at the Riverside in October 2013.

In summer 2014 his progress was rewarded with a call-up to the England U21 squad to face Wales in a UEFA qualifier before joining the U20 party for the Toulon Tournament, helping Gareth Southgate’s team finish fourth.  

Ben continued to make headway as a player and having made 36 appearances during the promotion winning season of 2015/16, he established himself on the Premier League stage in 2016/17 and was one of only three top-flight players to feature in every minute of every game.

He was also rewarded with his first England senior call-up in March for the game against Lithuania and, while he didn’t come off the subs bench, he was named in Gareth Southgate’s squad for the World Cup qualifier against Scotland and the friendly against France in June. 

Ben missed just one league game for us in the 2017/18 season when he was taken ill shortly before kick-off in a match against Hull City on February 20. 

It was a season that saw him make 50 appearances, many as captain, a figure bettered by no-one and matched only by Darren Randolph.

It was also a season that saw him make his 250th career appearance in the final game of the scheduled season away to Ipswich. On the same day fellow Boro-born Academy graduate Stewart Downing made his 500th league appearance.

Ben joined Premier League Burnley in the summer of 2018 for an undisclosed fee. 

Ever an active member of our community, Ben is a proud ambassador for Teesside Hospice.