Like father, like son; you couldn’t say that Boro’ was new to Ben Nugent when signed for us ahead of the 2018-9 Sky Bet League Two campaign. After turning down a deal at Gillingham, Nugent’s decision had him following in the footsteps of father Richard; himself a big player for us during his time with the club in 1980s and 1990s. And what footsteps to follow, eh?
His father can count two title wins from his time at the Boro’. If Ben could repeat that feat, well, what a place we’d be in. And, let’s face it, however; Nugent (Junior) came to us with a rich pedigree of Football League experience.
But neither that nor a sense of family fate could translate into that success we hoped for. During his two years of service, we went from playoff hopefuls one season to the bottom of the league the next. In June 2020, boss Alex Revell saw the need for change and Nuge would be one of 22(!) victims. No new contract was forthcoming and the central defender left Boro’ for a fresh start elsewhere going into the 2020-1 season.
Ben Nugent: Before Boro’
For Ben Nugent, it all started at Cardiff City. We know what you’re thinking. How did a lad from Welwyn end up there? However it came to be, he made an instant impact; scoring on his full debut for the Bluebirds. It nearly didn’t happen like that, though. He was originally released by Cardiff, before being taken back. A national 1500m champion as a teen, Ben’s commitment was cited as the reason for Cardiff re-signing him.
His time in Wales saw him out on loan to Brentford, Posh and Yeovil; the latter another one of Richard’s former clubs! In August 2015, however, he made a fresh start and left to join Crewe Alexandra. He spent the next two seasons with the Railwaymen, turning out for them 50+ times. That figure is from Wikipedia, however, so you can assume the real figure to be a bit higher. In 2017, he travelled south to sign a one-year deal at Gillingham.