From: Watford FC Academy
Record: Played: 0 Scored: 0
To: ??? - free transfer - March 2005
He was: Nigel Gibbs' protegé
If ever there was a young player who directly benefited from working with an almost specialist coach, as far as he was concerned, then surely no youthful professional of recent times has made more progress thanks to Nigel Gibbs than right-back Ben Herd.
Not as talented as his mentor, granted, Herd reminded watchers of Gibbsy with a tenacious tackle, an unseemingly good jump for a player of lesser height and a steely determination which players of not-quite-the-height seem to possess more abundantly than some more physically gifted specimens.
He played nearly every game for the Reserves the year they won the League under Gibbsy, and that was in 2002/03 when the first-team was in good shape - you suspect he was only one more injury away from a look-in.
You always want local lads to succeed and Ben, born in Welwyn Garden City, was always an affable sort at club functions - as locally-bred players always are - aware of the 'Watford way' of behaving away from the pitch.
He's bucked the trend of recent young releasees by not dropping immediately into local non-League having just signed a deal with Shrewsbury Town in Division Four.
Scorer of one the best goals in recent years, a Van Bastenesque volley in a home Reserve match last season, he'll at least have some memories of being on the playing staff under Ray Lewington upon whose recommendation he's now going to enjoy a chance to make a name for himself.
Division Four he should be more than capable of...I hope he now takes his chance. He deserves a break.