Ben joined the Hatters in May 2016 after four very successful years with AFC Fylde, including four successive Play-Off campaigns and being named in the Divisional Team of the Year every season. He started his career under Billy Davies at Preston North End before following Davies to Derby County. He enjoyed a spell at Oxford United then moved back to Lancashire to play for Bamber Bridge before joining former County striker Andy Preece at Northwich Victoria, replacing James Spencer as Vic’s number one.
Six-foot-one Ben will forever be a hero to the Fylde fans, having scored the winning spot-kick in the 2014 Play-Off final penalty shootout against Ashton United which catapulted the Coasters into the Conference North. He also scored a 60-yard wonder goal in the 2013 Play-Off semi-final, which won Fylde’s Goal of the Season award.
Ben made 47 appearances in his first season out of a possible 50, and followed that up with 48 the following season. As County won the National League North the following year, Hinchliffe was the only player to play every minute of every game in all competitions that campaign and keeping 22 clean sheets.
Upon promotion, he stayed very much the same, missing only one game in 2019/20 in all competitions, keeping nine clean sheets before signing for the club full time prior to the 2020/21 season.
Over his time at County, Ben has now made over 200 appearances for the Club and remains a firm fan favourite. The 2020/21 season was perhaps his most successful in a County shirt yet, as he kept 19 clean sheets in the National League – more than any other goalkeeper, as we missed out on promotion in the play-offs.
Ben made his 250th appearance for the Club earlier this season, keeping a clean sheet in a 1-0 win against Woking at Edgeley Park.
Ben’s Stockport County Appearance Number (SCAN) is: 1357
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