Ben, a 5’11” defender, came through the Academy at Manchester City and captained the side as they lifted The FA Youth Cup in April 2008.
Three months after that domestic triumph, the Sale-born central defender got his first taste of international competition, when he was selected in Brian Eastick’s England U19s squad that travelled to the Czech Republic for the European Championship Finals.
He made his full debut against Italy in Jablonec as the Three Lions drew 0-0 in their second Group game and followed that up with a goalscoring performance in their 3-0 victory over Greece.
Eastick’s charges were unfortunate not to progress into the knock-out stages, however, their achievements were not in vain and, through their performance in the Euros, they assured themselves a place at the 2009 FIFA U20 World Cup.
Ben remained in Eastick’s plans and went on to play every minute of England’s three matches in Egypt as they again bowed out at the Group Stage.
He made his first competitive start for City in the 2010-11 season, playing in the Third Round of the League Cup.