Ben Garner began his professional coaching career at the very highest level with Crystal Palace in 2005 where he spent the next seven years as youth coach at the Academy. Initially appointed as head coach of the under-11 team, he progressed through the age groups to become head coach of the under-18 team.
He was promoted to first team coach in the 2012–13 season by manager Ian Holloway. Garner remained in his role as first team coach for the next two seasons working under Holloway, Tony Pulis, Neil Warnock, and Alan Pardew. Garner left Crystal Palace on 7 July 2015 by mutual consent.
A smiling Ben Garner celebrating yet another Palace victory.
He was appointed as first team coach at WBA on 9 October 2015, where he was reunited with former manager Tony Pulis. Garner departed West Bromwich Albion in December 2017.
Oh Calcutta! – On 16 January 2019 he was appointed as assistant head coach under Palace’s probably greatest former manager Steve Coppell, for the rest of the season, at Indian Super League club ATK. (Atlético de Kolkata)
Garner was appointed Bristol Rovers Manager on 23 December 2019. On 14 November 2020, Garner was relieved of his duties with the club following a 4–1 home defeat to Fleetwood Town.
On 21 July 2021, Garner was appointed head coach of Swindon Town by new owner Clem Morfuni. At the time of Garner’s appointment, the club only had seven players, Garner’s newly implemented transfer policy focusing on the signings of younger players. Despite this difficult start to his time at the club, Garner guided Swindon to the play-offs in his first season in charge, finishing the season in sixth place. Facing Port Vale in the play-offs, Garner’s Swindon side won the first leg 2–1 before losing the away leg 1–0, before being defeated 6–5 on penalties.
On 8 June 2022, Garner was appointed manager of Charlton on a three-year contract.
As this photo shows, at Charlton, Garner has continued to put his faith in very young players.
Charlton are the only club to win the FA Cup having lost a match – the semi-final was a two-legged affair.
Charlton Athletic Football Club was founded on 9 June 1905. Their home ground is The Valley. For many years, the Valley was one of the largest Football League grounds in Britain, with its highest maximum capacity of 75,000. Its current capacity is 27,111. Charlton have played there since 1919, apart from one year in Catford, during 1923-24, and seven years as lodgers at Crystal Palace (the first official ground sharing arrangement in the Football League in 36 years) and West Ham between 1985 and 1992, due to financial issues, and then safety concerns raised by the local council. The club’s fans formed the Valley Party, nominating candidates to stand in local elections, in a bid to return the club to The Valley.
Early in the the 1985/6 season Charlton left the Valley. A rumour that gold had been founded under the pitch at the Valley proved false.
Charlton turned professional in 1920 and first entered the Football League in 1921. Since then, the club has had four separate periods in the topflight of English football: 1936–1957, 1986–1990, 1998–1999, and 2000–2007. Historically, Charlton’s most successful period was the 1930s, when the club’s highest league finishes were recorded, including runners-up of the First Division in 1937. After World War II, Charlton reached two consecutive FA Cup finals, losing in 1946, and winning in 1947. Charlton won the 1947 final 1–0 after extra time, with Chris Duffy scoring the winning goal. For the second consecutive year, the ball burst during the match; both incidents were later put down to the poor quality of leather available after World War II.
The club’s traditional kit consists of red shirts, white shorts, and red socks. When the club was first formed, they borrowed shirts from then near neighbours Arsenal who at that time played at Woolwich Arsenal. Their most commonly used nickname is The Addicks. Rumour has it that players of old had a meal of haddock before games and Addick is slang for this fish.
Substitute 1: On 21 August 1965, Charlton’s Keith Peacock became the first substitute used in the Football League when he replaced injured goalkeeper Mick Rose after 11 minutes of an away match against Bolton. Peacock’s autobiography was titled ‘No Substitute’.
Substitute 2: The Who’s May 1976 concert at the Valley, part of their By Numbers Tour, was the loudest rock concert of all time – 126 db. measured at a distance of 32 metres. Support acts included Lou Reed, Humble Pie, Bad Company, Lindisfarne & Dave Mason. (The song ‘Substitute’ was a hit for the Who in 1966).
First Choice – Laurie Cunningham has generally been recognised as the first black player to play for England at any level. Recent research has shown that in fact this honour goes to Benjamin Odeje who played for England Schoolboys at the age of 15. Right winger Benjamin played in England Schoolboys 1-0 victory against N Ireland in front of a crowd of 70,000 at Wembley in March 1971. Odeje played for Charlton’s youth team. He never, though, played any League football but did play for Hendon, Clapton & Dulwich Hamlet before subsequently coaching at QPR and working as a PE teacher. Odeje is being invited to attend England’s match against Germany on 26 September to recognise his achievement. Viv Anderson the first black player to play for England in a full international is also being invited to attend.