Latest News, Sport | Posted: Tuesday, August 4th, 2020 at 1:54 pm | return to news

Eddie Howe: despite the mutual parting the legend lives on

After his sudden departure from AFC Bournemouth, fans and players alike are mourning Eddie Howe’s decision to leave the club by mutual consent.

Eddie Howe’s departure – "Eddie’s achievements cannot and will never be underestimated" – courtesy of AFC Bournemouth
Eddie Howe’s departure – "Eddie’s achievements cannot and will never be underestimated" – courtesy of AFC Bournemouth

The 42-year-old, who has managed the Cherries for more than a decade in more than 450 games across two spells at Vitality Stadium, made his decision together with club officials on Saturday 1 August.

The mutual parting follows a season that led disappointingly to relegation of the Cherries from the Premier League.

AFC Bournemouth chief executive, Neill Blake said, “Eddie Howe is synonymous with this football club, both as a player and a manager, and that will never change.

“He is quite simply an AFC Bournemouth legend, having helped transform the identity and history of the club.

“Myself, our owner Maxim Demin and the board’s gratitude and appreciation for Eddie’s achievements cannot and will never be underestimated.”

In an open letter to supporters Howe said, “It is difficult to put into words what Bournemouth means to me, both as a town and as a football club. Having spent a total of 25 years with the club as both a player and a manager, this decision – made together with the club – is one of the hardest I’ve ever had to make. However, although the affection and love I have for this football club will always remain, we collectively feel that now is the right time for the club to go in a new direction.

“When I first took charge of Bournemouth back in January 2009, the club was second bottom of League Two and our objective at that point was a clear one. Survival in the Football League and the long-term survival of the club. We managed to achieve both in a remarkable manner with Steve Fletcher’s goal against Grimsby and since that moment, although our objectives subsequently changed and continuously evolved, I’d like to think that our mindset and work ethic didn’t.

“Survival in 2009 followed by promotions in 2010, 2013 and 2015, leading to five fantastic years in the Premier League, are of course some of the major highlights, but I am most proud of the culture of the club that everyone involved in AFC Bournemouth has helped to build and create during that time. It is that culture that ultimately enabled us to enjoy the success that we did.”

He thanked everyone, including the fans: “You helped the club survive in its darkest hour and deserve every success. I now join you as a Bournemouth supporter and will be willing the club on in what I am sure will be a successful future.

“Bournemouth will always be in my heart, but I firmly believe that now is the right time for the club to have a change. I have always ensured that every decision I have ever made as manager has been in the best interests of the club and its supporters, and this is no different.”

Howe is looking forward to spending time away during the summer with his family and says he is looking forward to the next chapter in his life.

Social media was flooded with accolades when the news broke.

Charlie Daniels: The man who believed in me and pushed me to be better every day, the man who gave me my dream of playing in the Premier League. We achieved what many thought was impossible. What a journey! Thank you for everything.

Luther Blissett: When someone grows up with your club as Eddie has you believe they’ll always be a part of what you do. An exemplary manager & true inspiration for what can be achieved on journey from player to manager. Eddie’s been a credit to AFC Bournemouth & will always make them proud #legend.

Nathan Aké: Thank you for everything gaffa.

Callum Wilson: Forever thankful for everything you’ve done for me over the past 5 years Gaffer! You’ve helped me achieve my dreams and I’m proud to have played a part in an amazing journey for you! Some great memories that will never forget. Good luck on your next chapter.”

Chris Mepham: Absolutely shocked and gutted by the news… can’t thank him enough for giving me the opportunity to play in the premier league and for giving me the platform to grow as a person as as a player! I wish you all the best in the future gaffer.

Supporter Juliette Britton: What an amazing man you are in all fields, but thank you for continuous hard work in making the club what it is. You will be a very hard act to follow, but wish you all the luck in the world in your future success.

Supporter Avi Moses: What a man, what a heartfelt letter… These are words of a man who genuinely loves this Football Club. Would have loved him to stay on and get back into the Premier League. What a journey though! Good Luck for the future, Eddie. Hope to see you back soon.

Supporter Sue Craighill: So sad, but thank you Eddie for all the wonderful memories you have created for us as Cherries fans. Your ‘Together anything is possible’ motto and ethos it created absolutely inspirational! Enjoy time with your family. Good luck for your next adventure.

Eddie Howe’s open letter can be found in full on the AFCB official website www.afcb.co.uk

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