A permanent acquisition during the closing stages of the January 2013 transfer window, Ben Chorley came to us from League One rivals Leyton Orient. It was a signing that we announced shortly after the news that Jon Ashton faced the rest of that season out. He arrived with plenty of Football League experience following his departure from Premier League giants Arsenal in 2003.
At 6’3, manager Gary Smith captured a man more than capable of commanding a Boro’ back line not lacking in presence. It also offered yet another physical barrier to our goal. With a robust presence, Chorley’s capture added more steel to our defensive ranks. As it also included Mark Roberts, Jon Ashton and Bondz N’Gala, that was quite a statement.
Ben Chorley: Before Boro’
Chorley made no senior appearances for the Gunners, with a spell on loan at Brentford his only senior experience under Arsene Wenger. He did, however, win the 2001 FA Youth Cup. After leaving the Gunners, Chorley moved to Wimbledon in 2003 and remained there through the name change to MK Dons. In four years with the “club”, he racked up well in excess of 100 outings, but found himself shipped out on loan to Gillingham in 2007; an initial three-month stin from October 2006 ended up lasting until the end of that campaign.
Tranmere Rovers offered him a way out from the Dons in summer 2007. But still he found himself in and out of first team action during the first of a two-year stint at Prenton Park. Orient became his last port of call before us; moving to Brisbane Road in 2009 and making more than 100 appearances in a spell stretching nearly three years.