The full-back returned in style to the first team in Tuesday’s 4-0 Worthington Cup victory against Tranmere Rovers.
Ben, 25, was out of the picture for almost a year with a hip problem that eventually required surgery in the summer.
Full of praise for our medical staff, he has recovered fully and was back in action with a new outlook on life.
It was suggested that the frustrations of being out for so long might have driven him to distraction. How did he cope — by banging down the doors? Nothing could be further from the truth.
He explained: “The injury coincided with my first child, a little girl called Libby who we had in the summer. She’s nearly four months old now.
“That was more responsibility and obviously I couldn’t go back to my wife Emma and moan about my hip or sore arms from doing weights because she’d had enough!”
So was he over those wild days? “It was just foolishness most of the time,” he insisted. “I’m now a father and I’ve got to behave myself and just try and make sure I’m playing.
“It does change things. My wife and baby are foremost. I’ll just come into work and do my job as well as I can.”
His Rovers return certainly suggested that the future could, at last, be brighter at the Lane. “The slate’s wiped clean,” he declared. “To be honest I’ve forgotten what it’s like to play in the first team so a lot of people will have forgotten as well.
“The staff have been different class. If I get a chance I’ve got to do as well as I can. Three or four more games and I’ll be 100 per cent.”
Ben Thatcher reckons the arrival of his first baby has helped consign his old ‘bad boy’ image to the bin.