Tom Bender (footballer)

Last updated

Tom Bender
Personal information
Full name Thomas Joseph Bender
Date of birth (1993-01-19) 19 January 1993 (age 30) [1]
Place of birth Harlow, England [1]
Height 1.91 m (6 ft 3 in) [1]
Position(s) Defender
Team information
Current team
Billericay Town
Youth career
2009–2011 Colchester United
Senior career*
YearsTeamApps(Gls)
2009–2013 Colchester United 16 (0)
2011–2012Accrington Stanley (loan) 8 (0)
2012–2013Chelmsford City (loan) 2 (0)
2013–2014 Millwall 6 (0)
2014Welling United (loan) 11 (0)
2014–2015 Dartford 16 (0)
2015 Forest Green Rovers 15 (0)
2015St Albans City (loan) 5 (1)
2015–2022 St Albans City 245 (14)
2022–2023 Hanworth Villa 34 (12)
2023– Billericay Town 0 (0)
International career
2008 Wales U15
2008 Wales U16
2009–2010 Wales U17 5 (1)
2010–2012 Wales U19 6 (1)
2010–2011 Wales U21 7 (0)
*Club domestic league appearances and goals, correct as of 11:07, 21 May 2023 (UTC)
‡ National team caps and goals, correct as of 19:41, 10 January 2013 (UTC)

Thomas Joseph Bender (born 19 January 1993) is a professional footballer who currently plays for Isthmian League Premier side Billericay Town. Bender most recently played as a defender for Hanworth Villa. Born in England, he has represented Wales at under-15, under-16, under-17, under-19 and under-21 levels.

Contents

Club career

Colchester United

Bender is a product of the Colchester United Academy. He made his senior debut on 19 September 2009 for Colchester in a 2–0 win against Hartlepool United, [2] becoming the second youngest player ever to represent the club at 16 years and 243 days, just 26 days older than the record holder Lindsay Smith. [3] Bender was named on the bench for six further games that season against Tranmere Rovers, Brentford, Wycombe Wanderers, Exeter City, Charlton Athletic and Huddersfield Town. On 19 January 2010, Bender signed his first professional contract until the summer of 2012. [4]

On 12 June 2012, Bender signed a 12-month extension with Colchester following a season plagued by injury, including his high-profile head injury while on loan at Accrington Stanley and a hamstring tear in February 2012. [5]

On 30 August 2011 Bender joined Football League Two club Accrington Stanley on a season-long loan deal. He was given shirt number 20 and made his debut as a substitute against Barnet, and had his first career start came against Carlisle United in the Football League Trophy.

On 4 October 2011, Bender was involved in a three-way collision in a match in the 39th minute between Ian Dunbavin of Accrington Stanley and Lucas Akins of Tranmere Rovers in a Football League Trophy match between the two teams. [6] The match was subsequently abandoned because of the seriousness of the injury which caused his Twitter account (@tombender01) to be trending worldwide. Having received a full blow from his own keeper's fist, he was rushed to hospital for a brain scan. Despite unfounded rumours that he had broken his neck, Bender regained consciousness in hospital and only suffered severe concussion. On 24 February 2012, Bender returned to Colchester early due to a hamstring tear injury. [5]

On 30 November 2012, Bender and teammate Bradley Hamilton joined Chelmsford City on loan until 7 January 2013. [7]

Bender was released from his Colchester contract by mutual consent on 31 January 2013. [8]

Millwall

On 27 March 2013, Bender was signed by Millwall on a one-year contract, having been on trial with the club and appearing in their development squad. [9]

Dartford

On 26 September 2014, Bender was signed by Dartford on a free transfer on a short-term contract until January. [10] In January 2015, he was released by Dartford following the expiration of his contract, having made sixteen appearances for the club. [11]

Forest Green Rovers

After a spell spent training with the club, it was confirmed on 27 February 2015 that Bender had joined Forest Green Rovers on a deal until the end of the 2014–15 season. [12] He made his debut the following day as a substitute in a 5–3 home win over Southport. [13] His first start came in a 4–2 away victory over Gateshead on 18 April 2015. [14]

After helping Forest Green to the Conference National play-offs, he was offered a six-month contract for the 2015–16 season on 4 May 2015. [15] On 27 November 2015, he joined National League South club St Albans City on a one-month loan. [16] He was released by Forest Green at the end of his contract on 31 December 2015. [17]

St Albans City

Bender joined St Albans City on a permanent deal in 2015 and went on to make 250 appearances in all competitions for the National League South side, as well as serving as vice-captain at Clarence Park. He left St Albans in 2022. [18]

Hanworth Villa

In 2022, Bender joined newly promoted Middlesex-based Isthmian League South Central side Hanworth Villa. He captained them to fourth place and the play-off final loss against Walton & Hersham FC. This turned out to be his last game for the club as on May 14 2023 it was announced that he would be joining Billericay. [19]

Billericay Town

In May 2023, he joined Billericay Town. [20]

International career

Born in England, Bender instead chose to represent Wales and has represented them at every level up to under-21 level.

Under 17

He made his debut for the Wales under-17 side in September 2009, playing in the opening two matches in the qualifying round of the 2010 UEFA European Under-17 Football Championship, a 3–2 win over Iceland and a 2–2 draw with Bosnia and Herzegovina. [21] [22]

Bender was called up for the 2010 UEFA European Under-17 Football Championship Elite Round on 10 March 2010 [23] but withdrew from the squad due to first team commitments with Colchester. [24]

Bender was called up by the Wales under-17 side for a friendly tournament in Sweden from 20 – 24 July. [25] Bender captained Wales for the first game of the tournament against Iceland, Wales lost the game 2–1. [26] [27] Bender was also captain for the second game of the tournament against Norway in which he scored his first international goal, Wales drew 1–1. [28] [29] Bender also played in the third and final game of the tournament a 1 – 1 draw with Sweden. [30] [31]

Under 19

Bender was called up for the Wales under-19 side on 18 April for a friendly against Northern Ireland. [32] But he didn't feature in the game.

On 10 October 2010 Bender was called up for three 2011 UEFA European Under-19 Football Championship qualification games against Turkey, Iceland and Kazakhstan. [33] Bender played in the 3 – 3 draw against Turkey. [34] He also came on as a sub against Iceland [35] and Kazakhstan. [36]

Bender was named in a squad for a warm-weather training camp from 3 to 8 April 2011. [37]

Bender was called up for the 2011 UEFA European Under-19 Football Championship elite qualification matches in Norway. [38] Bender withdrew from the squad to finish the season with Colchester.

In September 2011 Bender was involved in three games in the Qualifying round of the 2012 UEFA European Under-19 Championship. He captained the team against Belgium but was subbed off, [39] He played the full 90 minutes as captain against Scotland [40] and in the third game he came off the bench to score against Slovenia. [41]

Under 21

Bender was called up as a stand-by player for the Wales under-21 side for a friendly against Malta on 10 August 2010. [42] He was named on the bench for the game, coming on to make his debut as a substitute in place of David Stephens. [43]

Bender was also named in the squad for 2011 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship qualification Group 3 matches against Italy and Hungary. [44] But he didn't feature in those games.

Bender was put on the Stand-By list for a friendly against Austria on 17 November. [45] Bender was called up on 15 November to be part of the squad for the friendly against Austria. [46] Bender came on as a 79th minute sub against Austria as Wales won the game 1 – 0. [47]

Bender was once again called up for the Under 21s this time for a friendly against Northern Ireland on 9 February 2011. [48] He came on as a substitute in the 56th minute. [49]

2013 UEFA European Under-21 Football Championship

Bender was called up for a 2013 UEFA U21 Championship Qualifying match against Andorra on 29 March 2011, [50] He was named on the bench for this game. [51] but was unused. [52]

Bender was called up for a friendly on 10 August vs Hungary. [53] He came on as a sub for this game. [54]

Bender was named as Stand-By player for a qualifier against Montenegro. [55]

Tom was once again called up for the Under 21s, this time for a qualifier against Andorra. [56] Bender withdrew from the squad due to injury. [57]

Bender was named on the Stand-By list for Geraint Williams' first two matches in charge, the first a friendly against Armenia [58] and the second a 2013 UEFA U21 Championship Qualifying match against Czech Republic.

Career statistics

As of match played 1 January 2015.
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
ClubSeasonLeague FA Cup League Cup OtherTotal
DivisionAppsGoalsAppsGoalsAppsGoalsAppsGoalsAppsGoals
Colchester United 2009–10 [59] League One 1000000010
2010–11 [60] League One0000001 [lower-alpha 1] 010
Total1000001020
Accrington Stanley (loan) 2011–12 [61] League Two 2010001 [lower-alpha 1] 040
Chelmsford City (loan) 2012–13 [62] Conference South 20000020
Welling United (loan) 2013–14 [63] Conference Premier 1100000110
Dartford 2014–15 [64] Conference Premier160301 [lower-alpha 2] 0200
Career total320400030390
  1. 1 2 Appearance in Football League Trophy
  2. Appearance in FA Trophy

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