Ridgeons League: Goalkeeping legend Howie to bow out after picking up winner’s medal with Wroxham

Wroxham goalkeeper Scott Howie will finish his playing career with a winner's medal after deciding to retire after today's final game of the season at home to Mildenhall.

The former Norwich City professional, 40, has enjoyed a career spanning over 20-years including spells at Motherwell, Reading, Bristol Rovers and Shrewsbury Town.

Capped at Under-21 level by Scotland, Howie was the second choice goalkeeper, behind Bryan Gunn, at Carrow Road during the Canaries UEFA Cup exploits in the 1993/94 season and was on the bench for the games Vitesse Arnham, Bayern Munich and Inter Milan.

Howie joined the Yachtsmen at the beginning of the 2009/10 season from King's Lynn and went on to make 125 appearances over the next three seasons.

Wroxham, on their way to winning the Ridgeons Premier Division title, have kept an impressive 17 clean sheets this campaign and manager David Batch heralded the influence the likable Scotsman has had on the club.

He said: 'I have never heard him talking down to anyone because he has played at higher levels. While he has very strong opinions he is very respectful to everyone else's and doesn't force his opinions on to anyone.

That is why on the odd occasion when he goes mental, everyone listens.'

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Howie's first season at Trafford Park saw him voted as the club's Player of The Season as Wroxham reached the FA Vase final at Wembley.

'Without doubt Scott was the biggest reason Wroxham got to play at Wembley,' said Batch. 'I often recall one brilliant moment in a penalty shoot-out during that Vase run when he saved all the oppositions penalties and completely psyched out their last taker to see us into the next round.

'Strangely enough, I'm not sad to see him retire. I think he deserves to go out on a high and winning the league is just that.'

Before the match there will be a presentation of the league trophy to Wroxham and, as well as a league winner's medal, Howie is also to be presented with a special Yachtsmen tankard.

Ely City will finish as runners-up, even if they lose at home to Norwich United today, but Brantham Athletic and Wisbech Town meet in a showdown for third place.

Steve Appleby's Fenmen, fourth, need to win at Brantham in order to leap frog them in the table and improve on last season's finish.

Paul Tong's future at Kirkley & Pakefield remains uncertain even though he has led the Royals to safety and a certain mid-table finish, irrespective of today's final-day result at home to Haverhill Rovers.

Tong said: 'It's frustrating, but what will be will be. The club has got to do what's best for the club – I respect that and I've got to get on with it. I came here to do a job and I've done that. At this point I see no reason why I should not be here, but we will wait and see.'

Elsewhere, Great Yarmouth Town host Newmarket Town, Diss Town travel to FC Clacton, Dereham Town are at Felixstowe & Walton United and Gorleston visit Hadleigh United.

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