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Pat Howard

Pat Howard
Pat Howard
Bth 07/10/47 Dodworth Yorks
P/H/W CB 5-11 12st
Jnd 13/09/71 Barnsley £23,000
Deb 18/09/71 Wolves (H) Div 1
Dep 09/76 Arsenal £50,000
A/G 223 (2) 8

Pat Howard was a strong, uncompromising defender who wanted to be a winner and was a fierce competitor.

He was a £21,000 bargain buy from Barnsley (where he had played 177 League games) in September 1971. Pat was usually used as a sweeper in Yorkshire but was equally at home at centre-half which is the position he quickly established himself in on Tyneside as partner to Bobby Moncur.

He was dominating in the air in both penalty areas, often joining the Newcastle attack for dead-ball situations. Pat was also composed on the ground and had great balance for someone his height.

He always maintained a high level of consistency and took on extra responsibility when Bobby Moncur left in the summer of 1974. He was a good character to have around, on and off the field.

Pat was a tough opponent who sometimes took the task of getting a grip on the opponent a little too literally. Inevitably he got on the wrong side of officials occasionally, most memorably when he was sent-off in the 1974 FA Cup Quarter-Final just prior to the pitch invasion.

He had an excellent season in Gordon Lee’s first season, playing in every game until he suffered an injury, but like his big mate Macdonald he was determined to leave, joining him at Arsenal.

Pat Howard
Pat Howard

1971/72 (41 - 1)

Pat was signed from Third Division Barnsley in September to replace the injured Moncur. Although primarily a sweeper he was used as a centre-half due to Burton also being injured. Everybody within the club was hugely impressed with how well he performed. Harvey said at the end of the campaign that he has "amazed me the way he has settled in and played with such consistency".

1972/73 (57 - 1)

He missed only one game all season and scored his first goal for the club in the home victory over Birmingham.

1973/74 (55 - 2)

Pat missed the start of the season through suspension, but thereafter played in the majority of games. He scored the goal that gave United a draw in the Third Round game against Hendon; but it was his sending-off against Forest that helped spark the infamous "invasion".

1974/75 (53/1 - 4)

With Moncur gone Howard had to assume extra responsibility at the back. Playing in a deeper, sweeper role he had one of his best seasons for the club, but still couldn't hold United's makeshift defence together. Captained United when Clark was absent and went down with the mumps in March.

1975/76 (50 - 1)

Pat had an excellent season at the heart of the defence; playing in every game until he tore a hamstring in March which ended his season.

1976/77 (0/1)

Pat was determined to leave the club. A move to Nottingham Forest fell through and he made one last substitute appearance before joining Macdonald at Highbury. "At the end I got the impression I wasn't too appreciated" he stated after he left.


Painting by Piotr