Jonny Howson - Fans memories of a homegrown hero

He was the local hero who rose through the ranks to captain his boyhood club.

Saturday, 29th May 2021, 4:30 pm
Jonny Howson fires home an equaliser against Bristol Rovers at Elland Road in May 2010. PIC: Varley Picture Agency

Morley-born midfielder Jonny Howson lived a dream that all football-mad Leeds United supporting youngsters would give their two front teeth to realise - playing professionally for the team he supported growing up.

He came through the Leeds United academy with James Milner, Danny Rose and Aaron Lennon before making debut as a substitute against Barnet at Elland Road during a League Cup tie in September 2006. When he walked on to the hallowed turf for Steve Stone he became the 604th player to represent the Whites.

“Once you get the call you’re getting stripped off, there’s nerves, excitement but when it comes to it and you run on that pitch, no-one can take that away, no matter what happens from now," he told the YEP's Graham Smyth during an interview in April 2020.

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Jonny Howson celebrates at full time after his last minute winner say off Carlisle United in the play-off semi-final second leg at Brunton Park in May 2008. PIC: Getty

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Manager Kevin Blackwell was sacked after the game and it would be Dennis Wise who handed Howson his full league debut three months later. He put in a man of the match performance in a goalless draw against Hull City at Elland Road.

Howson would go to make made 225 appearances for his boyhood club scoring 28 goals including some crucial strikes in crucial games.

His two goals at Brunton Park helped the Whites reach the League One play off final while his equaliser against Bristol Rovers at Elland Road in May 2010 set the Whites on the way to a win which clinched the second automatic promotion spot back to the Championship.

Jonny Howson celebrates scoring one of his three goals against Scunthorpe United at Glanford Park in October 2010. His hat-trick was completed in just 15 minutes. PIC: Varley Picture Agency

And a 15-minute hat-trick against Scunthorpe United is also a stand out memory for those lucky to be at Glanford Park in October 2010.

Your YEP has asked the Elland Road faithful to share memories of a captain whose sale to Premier League Norwich City for £2 million in late January 2012 sparked outrage and despair among Whites watchers.

Responses included:

Sammy Burgess - "Bristol Rovers started the come back and got the place rocking with that goal and also the ball to Becks to score against Manchester United. Peach of pass to him. Another sold under Bates to get money. Quality player for us when he was there."

Joe Robinson - "Goal at Brunton Park. The hat-trick at Scunthorpe on the day my uncle (big Leeds fan) passed away."

Dudley Lufc Hunt - "Carlisle away in play offs last minute winner to take us to Wembley! Also named our dog after him."

Graham Elliott - " That 90 yard pass to Beckford for THAT Goal at Manchester United in the FA Cup."

Scott Taylor - "Carlisle away play-off semi-final and that pass for Beckford's goal against Manchester United."

Jon Dodson - "I was totally gutted when he left but that goal against Carlisle is one of the great moments we had outside the Prem."

Kiel McCloy - "When he said 'now go and win this thing!' the year we got promoted! He was still Leeds after all those years away from us!"

Dan Clark - "Carlisle double. Equaliser against Bristol. Slamming a hat-trick against Scunthorpe."

Rich Baillon - "Equaliser against Bristol last game in League 1. What an afternoon at Elland Road that was."

Russell Delaney - "I was at Elland Road on a visit from Australia to watch him equalise with a sweet curling effort from the edge of the box against Bristol Rovers just before Beckford got the goal to get us promoted back to Tier 2. Absolute scenes with a pitch invasion at the final whistle. Wonderous!"

Simon Quinn - "Did us proud and a talent we should've kept."

Mark Smith - "Two goals against Carlisle play-offs."

Josh Lowe - "Grew up and he was one of my favourite players of my time. Great midfielder, and only seemed right that he scored a goal to see us promoted. Fans favourite!"

Simon Davy - "Carlisle v Leeds in the play-off semi-final. That guy took us to Wembley."

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