Ebbsfleet United defender Joe Howe chalked up an impressive personal milestone at Sutton United last Saturday (pictured), recording his 200th appearance for the club – almost seven years after his first.
Probably the last player to have played for the club under both the G&N and Ebbsfleet names, he appeared as a substitute in February 2007 in a 2-2 draw at Woking (ironically, sitting on the bench alongside current vice chairman Peter Varney’s son Alex, who scored the Fleet’s equaliser that night). But that was to be Joe’s only appearance until his return to the club in October 2010, since when he has become a familiar face to the Fleet fans.
Part of the side that earned promotion in 2010/11, and a late call-up to the team for the play-off final, Joe went on to win a host of player-of-the-year awards at the end of 2011/12 and has continued to feature regularly since, signing a new contract with each passing season.
In a programme interview last month, he spoke of his love for the club saying, “I’ve always felt very happy and at home at the Fleet and I don’t think I’ve ever given any other teams the opportunity to show interest as I’ve just wanted to re-sign for the club as soon as I knew they wanted to keep me.
“The fans here a massive factor for me. They have always made me feel welcome and shown great support whether I have a good or bad game. I’ve enjoyed every single moment at the Fleet so far and would love to stay for as long as possible.”
Joe’s feat is all the more impressive as he is one of very few Fleet players this century to have clocked up 200 appearances. Goalkeeper Lance Cronin managed it, while the likes of Jimmy Jackson and Craig Wilkins did it (but across two centuries).
Home supporters can show their appreciation at the Staines Town match – but meanwhile the club would like the fans to join in wishing Joe many congratulations on his achievement.
And here’s to the next 200!
Here’s how he did it…
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[tab id=1]League: 21 Cups: 5 (+1) CAREER TOTAL: 170 (+30)[/tab][tab id=2]League: 32 (+4) Cups: 5 (+2) CAREER TOTAL: 144 (+29)[/tab][tab id=3]League: 41 Cups: 6 CAREER TOTAL: 107 (+23)[/tab][tab id=4]League: 37 (+4) Cups: 4 CAREER TOTAL: 60 (+23)[/tab][tab id=5]League: 16 (+15) Cups: 3 (+3) CAREER TOTAL: 19 (+19)[/tab][tab id=6]League: 0 (+1)[/tab]