Where are they now?
Thornley started out as trainee at Manchester United for five years`, making 9 appearances for the Red Devils. In 1996 he won 3 caps for the England Under 21`s, such was the youngster`s ability.
Ben moved to Yorkshire to sign for Huddersfield and he played 127 times for the Terriers before moving north of the border to play for Aberdeen. Pool manager Steve McMahon signed him in 2002 from the Dons but he made just 12 appearances in Tangerine despite signing with a glowing reputation - certainly one of Macca`s poorest signings!
After short spells at Bury and Halifax, Thornley dropped down the football ladder further still spending time at Bacup Borough before joining Salford City in January 2006 where he combined playing with coaching.
Thornley now plies his trade in the world renowned East Cheshire Sunday Football League Division Two, turning out for Wilmslow Albion - how the mighty have fallen!
The winger had the world at his feet in the mid - nineties. On the verge of the United first team and around the under 21 set up for his country, Thornley had the makings of a successful career ahead of him. Unfortunately instead of following in the footsteps of the likes of Paul Scholes, or even the Richie Wellens`s and David Fox`s of this world, Ben lost his way. It is so sad that a player who was given such a privileged upbringing at Old Trafford did not make the most of his fortune. Alas, it just wasn`t to be for Ben Thornley.