Ben Coker signed from Lincoln City on a one-year loan deal in August 2020 – before the deal became permanent two months later; gaffer Alex Revell continuing to rebuild our squad. The left-back came to us with no shortage of know-how, which was vital to what Revs was trying to build. After leaving Southend United in the summer of 2019 for the Imps, his career stalled somewhat; just one cup game all the action he saw at Sincil Bank in the 2019-20 campaign. Even a loan spell at Cambridge United gave the player little in the way of game time.
In fairness, Coker’s career struck that rocky patch after suffering a dreadful knee injury in October 2018. It was no fault of his own. “His work rate, athleticism and character fits our DNA and he is someone that joins us from a higher level”, said Revell. The player had an awful lot still to offer and the Imps saw fit to let us reap the benefits of that as we faced up to a 2020-1 campaign; one in which Boro’ needed to show significant improvements. Upon arriving, the left-back spot was effectively his to lose. It more or less stayed that way after the loan deal was made permanent in October 2020.
Two years on, however, and things had changed at the Lamex. We had gone through another couple of managers. And when it came to be Steve Evans in charge, the decision was taken not to keep him on going into the 2022-3 season.
Ben Coker: Before Boro’
A local lad, Coker’s career started in youth ranks at Cambridge United and Northampton Town. As far as his senior career goes, the path took him from Histon and Barton Rovers – before moving briefly to Sweden. Returning to Blighty, Bury Town picked him up and it started to get him noticed. Colchester United came in for him and he’d spend three years with the Us; some of which were out on loan. First team chances were at a premium with them, however. In February 2013, his contract came to an end and he moved to Histon.
After impressing at Histon, he dazzled on trial with Southend United. It’d be a successful six years at Roots Hall too; Coker racking up near enough 200 outings for the club. It wasn’t until October 2018 that things became derailed; that knee injury forcing him out for the rest of the 2018-9 campaign. You don’t stay on the books at a club for such a long time if you’re not capable enough, however. So, his signing was a good bit of a business for us. And, if he can get back up to speed, Boro’ should be well happy with their capture.