Hartley Wintney’s David Howells: Famous Footballing Face

An FA Cup winner with Hartley Wintney in his heart, CommunityAd look back at the career of midfielder David Howells.

 

As we close in on the all-Manchester FA Cup final, taking place on 25th May, many of us may still be seething at the controversies from the previous semi-final contests. Whilst there appeared to be a very questionable handball offence from Jack Grealish in the penalty box against Chelsea not given, there was also a heartbreaking goal disallowed for offside in extra time as Coventry thought they created a historic comeback from 3-0 down to The Red Devils, only to eventually lose out on penalties.

That’s why though, in this edition, we go back in time to when FA Cup replays were appreciated and there was no VAR as we look at the wonderful career of the former Hartley Wintney midfielder and FA Cup winner, Mr David Howells.

Born in Guildford on 15th December 1967, David joined Tottenham as a youth player in 1980 and would make his debut at 18-year-old as a striker 6 years later scoring against Sheffield Wednesday.

Known for his high work rate, covering every blade of grass, it wasn’t long before Howells developed into a holding midfielder and, under Terry Venables, David became a regular in the Spurs side. The midfielder played a key role in the club’s 1991 FA Cup campaign as they beat Nottingham Forest 2-1 in the final.

After Ossie Ardiles took over as manager, David was overlooked but the appointment of Gerry Francis in 1994 would see Howells immediately restored to the first team. David took the captain’s armband for Tottenham after Teddy Sheringham left Spurs to join Manchester United in June 1997.

Having been at the club for 11 years as a professional, Tottenham held a Testimonial match for David at White Hart Lane on 2nd August 1997 against Fiorentina.

In June 1998, after a total of 18 years at Tottenham, David was out of contract and released by Spurs, joining Southampton on a free transfer. His career in numbers and honours at The Lilywhites read 335 appearances, 27 goals, a Community Shield and, of course, an FA Cup.

Injuries piled up for the midfielder during this time in his career as Howells was only able to play a handful of games for The Saints which included a short loan spell at Bristol City.

David retired professionally from football in 2000 due to a knee injury and his first step into non-league football would see him join Hartley Wintney FC. For David, this was a nostalgic return to The Row who would spend his weekends in the village, kicking a ball around with his brother from the age of seven as their dad Glynn managed the club for eight years.

Howells spent two years playing for Hartley Wintney and in an interview with World Football Index said the club has a massive place in his heart and that he still goes over occasionally to watch them play.

David finished his non-league career with Havant & Waterlooville and Guildford City.

In retirement, the former midfielder ran a Holiday Soccer School for 6 years, was a Director of Football at Charterhouse School and was a coach, mentor and performance analyst at PlayerWorks.

Currently, the Spurs legend is the Managing Director of sports agency DASH Sports Limited sharing his knowledge and experience in football with professional players.

Still involved with Tottenham, on 7th July, David will be playing in the charity football match between Spurs Legends and Yorkshire Spurs at Tadcaster Albion AFC with all profits being split between Prostate Cancer UK and Menfulness UK.

 

To keep up to date with David’s latest news, follow him on social media channel X @Howellsey.

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