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Born: 6 Sep 1984
Joined Wycombe: May 2011
- From Aldershot Town - Free
Wycombe Debut: Wycombe 1 Scunthorpe 1 - 6 Aug 2011 - League 1
Left Wycombe: 31st January 2012 - To Northampton Town - Free
Career summary at Wycombe.
(up to 1st Jan 2012)
11 appearances - 0 goals
Harding was Wycombe Manager Gary Waddock's first signing of the summer of 2011 when he returned to Aldershot Town to bring the then 26 year old to Adams Park on a two year deal. The midfielder started his professional football career with Wimbledon aged 17 at the start of the 2001/2 season but had to wait until November 2003 to make his senior debut. He stayed with Wimbledon during their contoversial move to Milton Keynes and the subsequent renaming to MK Dons.
It was after the move to Milton Keynes that Harding was loaned to Conference sides Forest Green Rovers, Aldershot and Grays Athletic, before being released by 'Franchise' at the end of the 2006/7 season having totalled just over 50 First Team apps.
After pre-season trials with Aldershot, he was signed by Gary Waddock for The Shots in August 2007 and went on to become ever-present in the side that won the Conference National division and earnt promotion to the Football League in May 2008. Having signed a new two year deal with The Shots in the summer of 2008, Harding went on to make his 100th appearance for the Hampshire club against Wycombe Wanderers in December 2008 but there was a set-back later that season when a torn achilles in February 2009 ruled him out for the remainder of that campaign.
Although recovered from the injury, Harding eventually lost his place in The Shots team to John Halls following the departure of Gary Waddock to Wycombe and was released at the end of the 2010/11 season. After rumours of a move to AFC Wimbledon, it was Waddock who returned to pick up the midfielder on a free, commenting at the time, "I've known Ben for a while and his footballing ability, character and attitude will see him fit perfectly into the squad. He's comfortable in possession, has good vision and is somebody who will create from the middle of the park."
However, he failed to make much of mark on First Team affairs, making just three starts in the Football League before injury in the Football League Trophy defeat to Cheltenham Town on 4th October 2011. Despite returning to fitness he did not appear again prior to a long term loan move to League Two Northampton Town being agreed on 1st January 2012, with the deal being made permament at the end of the same month.
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