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👤 1989/90 player profiles: Ian Benjamin

Profiling the championship winning side on the 30th anniversary of the title

3 April 2020

April 28, 1990, remains one of the finest days in Exeter City's history as, on the back of an incredible home record, we secured our first title in our club's history. During this month we will be taking a look back - in alphabetical order - of the main players in that title winning side. This time we look at a reliable and versatile player who made 20 appearances during the title winning campaign.

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IAN BENJAMIN
FORWARD
89/90 APPEARANCES: 12
GOALS: ONE

The former England Youth International was signed to provide additional option up front, but found his opportunities limited amognst strong competition in the forward line.

Ian Benjamin began his playing career with Sheffield United, but even though he had only played five league matches for them - scoring three goals - West Bromwich Albion still parted with £100,000 for his signature in August 1979.

It proved to be an expensive signing as he only featured in two league games for the Baggies, although Ian did play in the historic benefit match for Len Cantello, where a West Brom team featuring only white players, took on Cyrille Regis’s all-black XI at the Hawthorns. 

Joining Notts County on a free transfer in February 1982, Ian quickly moved on to Peterborough United just six months later, without playing a league game for them. 

His career finally took off with the Posh, and a return of 14 goals in 80 league outings led to a move to Northampton Town in August 1984, where he rattled  in 58 goals in 150 league matches.

After spells with Cambridge United and Chester City, Ian moved to St James Park in February 1989 and made his league debut for the Grecians in a 2-1 home win over Darlington.

In the title-winning season, Ian faced strong competition for a place in the side from Darran Rowbotham and Richard Young, which limited him to just 10 league starts and two appearances from the bench. 

With games in short supply, Ian was limited to just a single league goal for the Grecians, which came in the form of the winner, as City beat Aldershot 1-0 away from home on Boxing Day. 

This proved to be his final league goal for the Grecians, as he left for Southend on a free transfer in February 1990, citing his desire to be nearer to his home in Cambridge. 

This article has been created using material from the Grecian Archive and ECFC Museum as part of the 'Celebrating our Heritage' programme, funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and supported by the University of Exeter. 


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