The Howard School, Rainham, and footballing excellence

CommunityAd take a look at the footballing excellence displayed by Rainham’s The Howard School alumni.

 

As we approach the end of the 2023/24 football season, fans of the beautiful game need not fear as the 2024 European Championships take place this June with many hopeful fans across the country believing this will be the year where The Three Lions go one step further than Euro 2020 and win their first trophy in 58 years. Celebrating our beautiful game a little bit closer to home, we thought it would be fitting to honour The Howard School in Rainham and the impressive footballing alumni they boast.

Established in 1975 after amalgamating Rainham Boys’ Secondary School and Gillingham Boys’ Grammar School to form a bi-lateral school, one of only five in the UK.

The boys’ secondary school was named after Dorothy Howard, who had served as an Education Officer for Medway and had been involved in local community and political affairs.

“To Strive and Achieve is to Succeed” is the school’s motto and in 2007, The Howard School became a Specialist Sports College developing its sporting facilities by building a 5 a-side complex and a library.

The Howard School also developed one of the best table tennis centres in the UK located at the top of the school grounds, which was used during the prelude to the London 2012 Olympic Games by various national teams. In addition to these developments, ICT facilities were improved and the sports blocks, changing facilities and sports halls were renovated.

The Howard School U19 football team is currently flying in the Kent Schools’ FA Academies League recently dominating Tonbridge Angels 5-0 and, in a friendly match, beating Lenham School 4-2.

There are a plethora of fantastic professional footballers, past and present, who were educated at The Howard School and these include:

 

CommunityAd Exclusive - The Howard School, Rainham, and footballing excellence

George Boyd. Wikimedia Commons user joshjdss via https:// commons.wikimedia.org/ (CC BY 2.0).

George Boyd

The former Premier League player started his youth career at Charlton and Stevenage Borough before signing for Peterborough United, becoming a fan favourite.

Born in Chatham, George made 322 appearances for Posh over two spells, scoring 76 goals before moving to Nottingham Forest and, later, Hull City on Loan. A permanent move to Hull City saw him reach the pinnacle of the Premier League playing one season in the top flight before moving to Burnley where he also played two full seasons in the Premier League.

After obtaining documentary proof that his maternal grandfather was born in Glasgow, the winger was able to represent Scotland and earned his first of two senior caps under Gordon Strachan in a 2-0 away defeat to Serbia on 26th March 2013.

Boyd announced his retirement from professional football in October 2021 after making 688 senior appearances, scoring 124 goals. The Director of Football at Peterborough United Barry Fry lauded Boyd as not only one of the best signings for the club but also one of the club’s greatest-ever players.

 

Derek Hales

Derek Hales is the all-time leading goalscorer for Charlton Athletic, scoring 168 goals for The Addicks with the 1975-76 campaign being his most prolific, finding the net 28 times and finishing as the Football League Second Division top goalscorer.

The striker would also play for Dartford, Luton Town, Derby County, West Ham United and Gillingham before returning to The Howard School as a part-time football coach.

 

Zech Medley

The 23-year-old centre-back played for Chelsea and Arsenal at youth level and despite loans at Gillingham and Kilmarnock, Medley is enjoying a career abroad with Belgian club K.V. Oostende.

 

Luis Binks

At just 22, Luis is currently at Coventry City on loan from Italian Serie A side Bologna. The Gillingham-born Tottenham youth player is very well travelled having signed his first professional contract with Montreal Impact before transferring to Bologna. Last season, Luis was loaned out to Como where he was managed under the tutelage of Premier League, World Cup and Euro winner Cesc Fàbregas. Luis and his teammates at Coventry are pushing for a play-off spot in the Championship this season and also have an exciting FA Cup semi-final clash with Manchester United soon.

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