Don Howe

Don Howe
Don Howe
Personal information
Full name Donald Howe
Date of birth 12 October 1935 (1935-10-12) (age 76)
Place of birth Springfield, Wolverhampton, England
Playing position Right Back
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1952–1964 West Bromwich Albion 342 (17)
1964–1966 Arsenal 70 (1)
National team
1957–1959 England 23 (0)
Teams managed
1971–1973 West Bromwich Albion
1974–1975 Galatasaray SK
1983–1986 Arsenal
1989–1991 Queens Park Rangers
1992 Coventry City (caretaker)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Donald 'Don' Howe (born 12 October 1935) is an English football player, turned coach and manager.


Born in the Springfield area of Wolverhampton and educated locally at St. Peter's Collegiate School. Howe spent most of his playing career at West Bromwich Albion, joining the club as a youth player in December 1950. He turned professional in November 1952, but did not make his debut until 1955, against Everton.[1] A full back, he played nearly 350 games for the Baggies in twelve years, as well as becoming a regular in the England team; he played in the 1958 World Cup, and won 23 caps in total.

Howe was signed by Billy Wright's Arsenal in 1964, and was made club captain. However, in March 1966 he broke his leg playing against Blackpool and never recovered well enough to play in the first team again. Howe retired from playing and became Arsenal's reserve team coach under Bertie Mee, then stepping up to first team coach after the departure of Dave Sexton in 1968. Arsenal won the Double in 1971 with Howe playing a crucial role, but not long after he returned to his old club, West Bromwich Albion, as manager.

Howe's tenure at WBA was not a success, the club were relegated to Division Two in 1973, and Howe moved on to coach Turkish club Galatasaray and Leeds United, before rejoining Arsenal in 1977 as head coach, under Terry Neill. He also became part of the England national team's coaching setup in 1981, working under Ron Greenwood. When Greenwood retired a year later, Howe continued to work for the national team under new manager Bobby Robson.

After Neill's sacking on 16 December 1983, Howe became Arsenal caretaker-manager and was appointed permanently after the game against Leicester City on 28 April 1984. Despite introducing young players like Tony Adams, David Rocastle and Niall Quinn to the team, he was unable to win trophies, as Arsenal finished either 6th or 7th under him, although they did briefly top the league in October 1984.

After just over two years in the job, Howe resigned on 22 March 1986, shortly after Arsenal's match against Coventry City, after reports circulated that the board were looking to replace him with Terry Venables; in the end George Graham succeeded him. Howe remains Arsenal's last English manager.

Howe later joined Wimbledon as assistant to Bobby Gould, and there he helped mastermind the Dons' famous 1988 FA Cup Final victory over Liverpool. His coaching expertise earned him a great deal of credit for Wimbledon's cup triumph.[2]

Howe also had spells managing QPR between November 1989 and May 1991, with Gould briefly assisting him.

Shortly after leaving QPR, he became assistant manager to Terry Butcher at Coventry City and became manager in January 1992 when Butcher was sacked. Howe secured a place in the new FA Premier League for Coventry, who missed relegation by once place, and just after the end of the 1991-92 season Gould rejoined him as joint manager of the Highfield Road club. However, Howe handed in his resignation as manager just a month later and was never employed in management again.

Howe also moved into journalism and broadcasting, becoming a pundit for Channel 4's coverage of Serie A.

Howe returned to become assistant manager for England under Terry Venables during the mid-1990s (including Euro 96), and returned to Arsenal for a final time in 1997 as a youth team coach. He retired from coaching in the summer of 2003, though currently he occasionally writes as a pundit for BBC Sport's website. He also has a regular column in the official Arsenal magazine.

Now in his seventies, he still runs youth coaching schemes across the United Kingdom.

In 2004 he was named as one of West Bromwich Albion's 16 greatest players, in a poll organised as part of the club's 125th anniversary celebrations.[3] Towards the end of 2007 and the beginning of 2008, he worked with the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) as part of a 3 man panel to appoint Giovanni Trapattoni as the new national team manager.


  1. ^ Matthews, Tony (2005). The Who's Who of West Bromwich Albion. Breedon Books. p. 117. ISBN 1-85983-474-4. 
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ "The wraps come off 125th anniversary mural". West Bromwich Albion F.C.. 2004-08-04.,,10366~547701,00.html. Retrieved 2008-05-10. 

External links

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