Howard's heartfelt goodbye after a decade's service

by | 15/05/2016  42 Comments  [Jump to last]

In addition to his emotional farewell on the pitch at Goodison Park this afternoon, Tim Howard has penned a heartfelt tribute and goodbye message to the Everton fans whom he has represented for a decade.

Howard joined the Toffees on loan from Manchester United in 2006, signed on a permanent deal a few months later and has since made 414 appearances in all competitions. He played in goal for the last time today in the 3-0 win against Norwich City before he departs for Major League Soccer side Colorado Rapids.

Under the title "Grateful", the American posted his message to Blues fans on Twitter prior to his final match this afternoon, expressing his love for Everton and his teammates.

"I remember the promise that David Moyes made to me 10 years ago, ‘Once you walk through those doors, you'll fall in love',” Howard wrote.

“Today, I will walk through those doors one more time, and then I will depart. I will depart with love in my heart for the greatest of football clubs, the people's club, Everton FC.

“I will always be thankful to so many. Of course, the fans — those who bring such passion and make Everton what it is. My teammates. Among others, Tony Hibbert, Leon Osman, and Leighton Baines were always a shining example of how a true Evertonian should train, play and act.

“Phil Jagielka has been the greatest and strongest captain, and it has been a privilege to follow him. Two great managers. David Moyes was the ultimate leader, combining strength and integrity.

"I am greatly indebted to Roberto Martinez for his great decency and commitment to me as a player and a man. My wonderful chairman, Bill Kenwright, whose approving smile from the Director's Box will be an enduring memory — words cannot express my gratitude.

“And there are so many others that work at the club or support the club who are all part of my family, now and forever.

“I will soon walk out on the Goodison pitch, the 414th time I have been honored and trusted to wear the famous Everton shirt. I will walk out of the tunnel one more time to hear Z-Cars and the thunderous applause of 40,000 Evertonians.

“I will hold these images and sounds with me wherever I go. I am going home to America. But after a decade in Blue, This is my home. I love all of you, and am so grateful for what the club and everybody affiliated with it has given me.

“Everton, you have become a part of my soul. You'll forever be in my heart.”

» Watch: Tim Howard's emotional farewell  

Reader Comments (42)

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Damian Wilde
1 Posted 16/05/2016 at 00:46:52
Nice words to be fair, very nice. Thanks Tim and all the best. Go Rapids!
Bob Parrington
2 Posted 16/05/2016 at 01:17:21
Tim, Good Luck for the future!
Tom Fazal
3 Posted 16/05/2016 at 01:19:46
Tim, thanks for the years of good service, I hope you have many more in the MLS. Will look for your games here in Canada, the Rapids have a new fan:o)
Kieran Kinsella
4 Posted 16/05/2016 at 01:44:41
400 plus appearances is an incredible accomplishment. Great servant to the club.
Adam Fenlon
5 Posted 16/05/2016 at 02:00:37
I hope that these are his genuine thoughts. Wish him best for the twilight of his career in MLS and with his national team.
Julie Naybour
6 Posted 16/05/2016 at 02:02:15
Respect and best wishes for a true and loyal servant to the club. His words were heartfelt and really touched me. I'm glad he got the send off today he deserved. I wish you the very best of luck for your future Tim and go with the knowledge you will always be given a warm welcome back here in your sporting spiritual home
Ernie Baywood
7 Posted 16/05/2016 at 05:44:31
I don't doubt for a second that this club means a lot to him.

It's a shame that his last season was tainted by a manager refusing to pull him out of the firing line when he clearly needed it, and by a minority who chose to publicly slate a long term Evertonian who wasn't picking himself.

It's a credit to Tim that he could accept and rise above that. Congratulations to him on his Everton career and good luck for the future.

Eugene Kearney
8 Posted 16/05/2016 at 05:57:40
God luck Tim Howard.

Excellent post, Ernie (7).

Liu Weixian
9 Posted 16/05/2016 at 06:15:01
Good luck in the US, Tim!
Darren Hind
10 Posted 16/05/2016 at 07:33:20

I know you have not logged on t this thread yet, but I also know that as soon as you see TH's name, you will.

You will probably have gathered that the empty seats behind Tim were those that had been occupied by Norwich fans, but you would have been delighted with the reception from all around the rest of the stadium (the link doesnt capture that ). To a man the faithful stayed to give him a send off that reduced him to tears.

clean sheet too . .You would have loved it

Liam Reilly
11 Posted 16/05/2016 at 07:34:34
The last 2 years were tough on him; coinciding with the clubs slump into mediocrity, but if wasn't his fault that he kept getting picked when the side need freshening up.

Nice words, I think he'll be given the respect he deserves should he ever come back to Goodison .

Les Martin
12 Posted 16/05/2016 at 08:14:31
Tim has had a great career with Everton and the USA, and he got the send off he rightfully deserved.

Good luck in the future and come back and see us sometime.

Tony Abrahams
13 Posted 16/05/2016 at 08:51:13
Darren, for the first time, in a long time, you just had this feeling that Tim, would keep a clean sheet today.

I know Norwich, were poor, but Howard's, concentration levels looked so much sharper than what we have become accustomed to, these last twelve months. And what about his bit of skill in the second half?

Good luck Tim, you look a much better keeper, when you play on the front foot, and I think you also looked a lot more relaxed when you had the ball in your arms yesterday. Not in so much of a hurry to get rid of it, which definately seemed to relax you a lot more.

Ian Burns
14 Posted 16/05/2016 at 09:06:09
Great and heartfelt message. Thanks for all Tim and all the best at Colardo Rapids - hope you win the MLS Cup to cap it all off.
Paul Thompson
15 Posted 16/05/2016 at 09:52:36
Tim has been a passionate Evertonian and great ambassador for the club here and in the US. His words are heartfelt and in stark contrast to the personal vitriol aimed at himby some when his form dipped as part of an awful defensive set-up by OFM. Good luck back at your second home Tim.
Charlie Lloyd
16 Posted 16/05/2016 at 10:16:59
He's not been at his best for a while but it's obvious he has enjoyed his time at Everton. He deserved a decent send off and he should be proud of the send off he got.

All the best for the future.

Colin Glassar
17 Posted 16/05/2016 at 10:17:41
Nice touch from a classy guy. Good luck Tim.
James Flynn
18 Posted 16/05/2016 at 10:19:24
Tim wasn't just our National Team Keeper for many years, he also was a team spokesman. Every follower of our team knew who Tim played for. He was the only American at a big Club and because of him, Everton became well-known to us; "Oh Everton, TIm Howard's Club".

David Harrison
19 Posted 16/05/2016 at 10:25:26
All the best Tim. I have heard so many stories of what a great bloke you are that I know these words will be genuine. To share one, I know you spent over an hour with a young rugby league player from Hull who developed Tourette's and gave him your email to contact you at any time. You have been a great servant to our great club. Enjoy life back in the US
John Raftery
20 Posted 16/05/2016 at 10:27:30
The only two league games we have won since February were the two games in which Tim Howard played. That might be pure coincidence but our points tally overall this season was higher with him in the team. Neville Southall was our greatest ever goalkeeper but having seen all our keepers since 1962 I rate Tim on a par with the great Gordon West. Yesterday's send-off was right and fitting.
Oscar Huglin
21 Posted 16/05/2016 at 10:27:46
Will be missed. Fantastic servant, and a class act. Not to mention an excellent 'keeper until the last couple of years.


Mike Rees
22 Posted 16/05/2016 at 10:59:53
Thanks for all the good memories you've given us over your Everton career Tim. You've given us terrific service and fully deserve any plaudits coming your way.

Good luck and best wishes for this new chapter in your life with the Rapids...

James Marshall
23 Posted 16/05/2016 at 12:02:50
Just to echo a few thoughts here, and as an ex-goalkpeer myself, I rate Howard as our best keeper since Big Nev - the greatest keeper that ever lived in my view (biased perhaps, but there it is). Nev also happens to be my favourite Everton player of all time as well, so y'know....

Tim Howard has been a great servant - 10 years of service and clearly has the club in his veins now like the rest of us. We as supporters have this deep rooted love for Everton, but do we really know how that same feeling must be for a player? 10 years is a long time to be in one job, and a very long time to be at one football club.

I have nothing but respect for the man, and wish him every bit of luck he deserves going forward.

A quality goalkeeper, and a quality human being.

Max Murphy
24 Posted 16/05/2016 at 12:07:36
Goodbye Tim.
You were a shite goalkeeper.
Colin Glassar
25 Posted 16/05/2016 at 12:11:53
Posts 23 and 24 = The beauty of TW.
Mark Fitzgerald
26 Posted 16/05/2016 at 12:14:15
Classy exit from the club from a nice guy. Wish him all the best back in the USA. Will choose to remember him for his quality years rather than the declining form he showed in more recent times. Best of luck Tim.
Roger Helm
28 Posted 16/05/2016 at 12:21:48
All the best Tim for the future - you were a reasonably good goalie, most of the time. No doubt also a decent bloke, as far as I know.

I still don't get this "service" and "loyal servant" thing. Our club provided him with a decade of highly lucrative employment - millions of pounds worth. Was he doing us a big favour by reluctantly trousering it?

Gavin Johnson
29 Posted 16/05/2016 at 12:27:21
Where's Jim Hardin?! I thought he'd be all over this thread.

Howard had his up's and downs but he was a solid GK for most of his Everton career. I was glad he got a good send off yesterday. I wish him the best of luck for the remainder of his career.

James Marshall
30 Posted 16/05/2016 at 12:33:28
Football opinions are like arseholes.
Eric Myles
31 Posted 16/05/2016 at 12:45:20
Roger #28, well he didn't make any comments about wanting CL footy or biking to Barca or the like.
Bob Cumiskey
32 Posted 16/05/2016 at 13:23:00
I don't know what it was but I never really felt any allegiance to him even though he was here for 10 years.

He was excellent yesterday though and you could clearly see and hear his passion for the club during his speech and walkabout.

Good luck with your new adventure Tim.

Donald Neville
33 Posted 16/05/2016 at 13:45:20
Roger 28,

Tim could have gone back to United in 07 and sat the pine collecting trophies, instead he wanted to play for a manger that wanted him and a club that supported him. He made that choice. He could have left ECF a few times I'm sure and gone to a club who maybe was a little higher up the table. Maybe a club that wasn't finishing 7th all the time. He chose to stay at ECF.

Tim you may have not been the best keeper, but you played your arse off every time. As an American seeing you play in England when the world says we can't hang over in Europe and you did it for 10 years, made me proud. Even though now you will play for Colorado and I'm an Union supporter, I will still wish you the best of luck.

Jim Hardin
34 Posted 16/05/2016 at 13:45:21
What can I say that hasn't been posted already? Great and classy send-off by the fans. Hope all of the old guard got a warm round of applause for past efforts, since it is unlikely Hibbo, Osman, and Pienaar will be back. Now for a new #1 keeper at Everton for next season.

Peter Fearon
35 Posted 16/05/2016 at 17:22:40
I admire Tim Howard and I was appalled by the disgraceful messages to him on his Twitter page on his final day by so-called Evertonians who couldn't save a penny from their own wages but who presume to pontificate in offensive ways about his service to the club in goal. Tim was an exceptional goalkeeper at his best and we will struggle to find another of his calibre.
Geoff Williams
36 Posted 16/05/2016 at 18:45:56
Tim Howard has been a great servant of the club and deserves better than some of the vile comments directed at him. His form for the past two seasons was such that he shouldn't have been first choice but that was the manager's fault.

Good luck Tim and thanks.

Ray Robinson
37 Posted 16/05/2016 at 18:54:06
In his prime, the third best keeper that I have seen at Goodison in 55 years (after the incomparable Southall) and the brilliant West. He has been a fantastic ambassador for the club, a loyal servant and a very good goalkeeper (albeit with some obvious flaws). I wish him all the very best!
Colin Glassar
38 Posted 16/05/2016 at 18:56:23
George Wood was much better, Ray.
Paul Hughes
39 Posted 16/05/2016 at 19:02:17
And Nigel Martyn
Colin Glassar
40 Posted 16/05/2016 at 19:03:56
Even Dai Davies had his moment(s) Paul.
Bob Unwin
41 Posted 16/05/2016 at 21:36:45
Well done Max Murphy #24. Must have taken both of you're brain cells. Thanks Tim, all the best for the future.
Ray Robinson
42 Posted 16/05/2016 at 22:50:49
Colin #38, matter of opinion. Paul #39, Martyn was a better keeper undeniably but perhaps not when in the twilight of his career with us.

Southall, West, Wood, Martyn and Howard - probably the only 5 class keepers that we have had in all those years, in my opinion.

Jim Hardin
43 Posted 17/05/2016 at 01:15:40

I know we disagree on much over Howard but that was a nice summary for those like me that could not be there. A clean sheet was a nice way to go out too. The YouTube farewell interview was moving.

The fact that Naismith stayed out on the pitch for Tim, given how he must have been feeling, shows what a person and still a Blue he is. I figure that if Naisy respects someone then they must be okay. COYB.

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