Date:Monday September 29 2008
It's sad, yes, but all good things come to an end. Brian Howard will be leaving for good at the end of the season. Yet, thank heavens for Anderson de Silva!
So Vital Barnsley will take a look back at what Brian Howard achieved with the Reds since he joined in the Summer of 2005.
When Brian first arrived, the Club's announcement of his arrival didn't exactly make waves, but oh how that was to change.
Alongside former Red, Richard Kell, Howard was pictured with his foot in a cast because of a broken metatarsal. (Kell too had a leg-cast for a broken leg!)
At the beginning of the 2005/2006 season, Barnsley had devised a two-year plan, by the end of which would have been promoted to the Championship.
Any real Barnsley fans will recognise the two blessings in disguise that helped boost the freedom and performances of Brian. So here's how:
Howard eventually made his Tykes debut in October but found a regular place in the starting XI hard to come by due to the midfield duo of Stephen McPhail and Jacob Burns.
When Burns eventually departed for Polish side Wisla Krakow due to international aspirations, Howard filled the void from March to the end of the season. Playing a rather restricted role in the middle alongside McPhail, Brian protected the back four on the way to promotion glory via a breathtaking match against Swansea at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.
Although Brian was replaced by Dale Tonge in the 73rd minute because of an injury, it was still his first highlight in a red shirt as he watched the boys triumph in the penalty shootout.
Despite promotion, Barnsley's star man in the middle, Stephen McPhail, opted to join Cardiff City under the ownership of former Leeds Chairman, Peter Ridsdale.
This was of course the second blessing for Brian, who was now ready to step up to the oche and show his full potential
The signing of defensive midfielder Sam Togwell allowed Howard to roam free in the middle of the park. The first game in which Howard was allowed to do so, he produced a spectacular overhead-kick from 18-yards after a neat cross from Paul Heckingbottom.
The pick of Brian's eight goals in 44 appearances during the 2006/2007 season has to be his lob against QPR at Oakwell. The Reds were battling at the wrong end of the table and a charge towards the Hoops' goal in the latter stages of the game saw Howard cheekily lob Simon Royce in front of the Ponty and secure a vital 2-0 win.
But it was last season where Howard really did burst into the media spotlight.
The highlight of his whole career, in the 5th round of the F.A Cup at Anfield - Howard picked up a loose ball in the dying seconds and fired a quality shot into the bottom corner to secure an unbelievable 2-1 win.
Whatever your take on Brian is, he gave the fans memories dreams are made of.
Date:Monday September 29 2008
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