Thursday, 18 November 2010

193 Andy Howard

Position : Winger

Played : 1992-93  to  1993-94

Appearances : 20

Goals : 3

Here’s a good quiz question. Which former Dale player made his League debut twice ? The answer is Andy who was signed on a free from Blackpool after his one League appearance for them was struck out because it was against Aldershot before they folded in March 1992.

Andy was a small winger who was used mainly as a substitute during his Dale career. He was a bit unfortunate in getting injured after an hour in one of the rare games he started, away to Barnet in December 1992 , as he was our best player that day and it could have been the springboard for a decent run in the side. As it was he showed the occasional flash of skill but never really looked like making himself essential.

I have a memorable anecdote concerning Andy. It’s probably a “you had to have been there “ moment but here goes. In October 1993 we had a Tuesday night home game (may have been against Mansfield) and Andy came on and scored a good volleyed equaliser. The following Saturday we played Crewe away , and as was usual then, I went early with 2 mates and settled in a pub called The Badger in Church Minshull. We ordered drinks and food at the bar then noticed a TV in the corner. At the time Kick Off was still on Granada on a Saturday lunchtime so we asked for it to be turned on. There were other people around having lunch but we were the only ones watching it. Near the end of the programme Elton Welsby announced that the winner of Goal Of The Week was “Andy Howard of Rochdale” . Wanting to announce our presence to the foodies around, I jumped up with an exaggerated cheer and shouted “Yes we’ve got it !” - at the exact moment that the girl arrived with our food so it looked like I was celebrating that. The girl’s glare was priceless and my mates were on the floor with laughter.

That goal was Andy’s last real contribution to our fortunes and he rarely made even the bench in the second half of the 1993-94 season. He was released in May 1994 and joined Fleetwood Town.

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