Donald "Don" Howe (12 October 1935 – 23 December 2015) was an English football player, coach, manager and pundit.
Howe was born in the Springfield area of Wolverhampton in 1935 and spent his secondary education at St. Peter's Collegiate School.
Howe spent most of his playing career at West Bromwich Albion. Howe joined the West Bromwich Albion ground staff after leaving school, joining the club as a youth player in December 1950. He turned professional in November 1952, but did not make his debut until 1955, against Everton. A full back, he played nearly 350 games for the Baggies in twelve years, as well as becoming a regular in the England team; he played in the 1958 FIFA World Cup, and won 23 caps in total.
Howe was signed by Billy Wright's Arsenal in 1964, and was made club captain. However, in March 1966 he broke his leg playing against Blackpool and never recovered well enough to play in the first team again.
In 2004 he was named as one of West Bromwich Albion's 16 greatest players, in a poll organised as part of the club's 125th anniversary celebrations.
Howe retired from playing and became Arsenal's reserve team coach under Bertie Mee, then stepping up to first team coach after the departure of Dave Sexton in 1968. Arsenal won the Double in 1971 with Howe playing a crucial role, but not long after he returned to his old club, West Bromwich Albion, as manager.
Howe's tenure at WBA was not a success, as the club were relegated to Division Two in 1973. Howe then joined Leeds United as a coach, later becoming assistant manager under Jimmy Armfield, before moving on to manage Turkish club Galatasaray in 1975. Howe rejoined Arsenal in 1977 as head coach, under Terry Neill. He also became part of the England national team's coaching setup in 1981, working under Ron Greenwood. When Greenwood retired a year later, Howe continued to work for the national team under new manager Bobby Robson.
After Neill's sacking on 16 December 1983, Howe became Arsenal caretaker-manager and was appointed permanently after the game against Leicester City on 28 April 1984. Despite introducing young players like Tony Adams, David Rocastle and Niall Quinn to the team during the mid-1980s, he was unable to win trophies, as Arsenal finished either 6th or 7th under him, although they did briefly top the league in October 1984.
After just over two years in the job, Howe resigned on 22 March 1986, shortly after Arsenal's match against Coventry City, after reports circulated that the board were looking to replace him with FC Barcelona manager Terry Venables. However, in the end George Graham succeeded him. He remains the last English manager of Arsenal (Bruce Rioch is of Scottish descent).
Howe later joined Wimbledon as assistant to Bobby Gould in 1987, and helped them win the FA Cup with a shock win over Liverpool in 1988. His coaching expertise earned him a great deal of credit for Wimbledon's cup triumph.
Howe then left Wimbledon to manage QPR between November 1989 and May 1991, with Gould briefly assisting him in the first half of the 1990–91 season.
Shortly after leaving QPR, he became assistant manager to Terry Butcher at Coventry City and became manager in January 1992 when Butcher was sacked. Howe secured a place in the new FA Premier League for Coventry, who missed relegation by once place, and just after the end of the 1991–92 season Gould rejoined him as joint manager of the Highfield Road club. However, Howe resigned as manager before the 1992–93 season began and this was his last job in management.
Howe also moved into journalism and broadcasting, becoming a pundit for Channel 4's coverage of Serie A.
Howe became assistant for England under Terry Venables from January 1994 to June 1996, finishing with England's semi final appearance as host nation at Euro 96. He returned to Arsenal for a final time in 1997 as a youth team coach.
Howe retired from coaching in the summer of 2003 after more than 30 years. He occasionally wrote as a pundit for the BBC Sport website. He also had a regular column in the official Arsenal magazine. Right up until his death he ran youth coaching schemes across the United Kingdom.
Towards the end of 2007 and the beginning of 2008, he worked with the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) as part of a 3-man panel to appoint Giovanni Trapattoni as the new national team manager.
Howe died, aged 80, in December 2015.
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