Sheffield Eagles club captain Jack Howieson retires
Howieson, 31, has been with the Eagles for 13 seasons since coming to the city as a student at Sheffield Hallam University.
He made his debut for the club against South Yorkshire rivals Doncaster on Good Friday in 2001 and was first introduced to rugby league back in Hemel Hempstead, playing with Hemel Stags who joins the professional rugby league ranks in Championship One this year.
Howieson led the club to promotion to the Championship in 2006, helped the club become a strong force in the league and this culminated in the famous 20-16 victory over Featherstone Rovers in last year’s Grand Final.
Speaking of his departure, Howieson said, “I’ve loved every minute of my playing career at the Eagles and I have been lucky enough to fulfil one my goals last year in winning the Championship Grand Final.”
“It’s been a tough decision to make but one that is right for me and my family at this moment in time.”
“A recent increase in work load in the full time day and the pressures of supporting a young family mean I am no longer able to fully commit time as a professional rugby league player.”
“Along with this, recent injury problems and the need for a further operation on my knee have brought forward my decision to call time on my career.”
“I have loved every minute of my time at the Eagles and have been lucky enough to fulfil one of my goals last year in winning the Championship Grand Final.”
“The support I have received from Mark Aston and the club over the years has been outstanding and the guidance and leadership I have received from him has been excellent and I’d personally like to thank him for the help he’s given me during my time at the Eagles.”
“I’d also like to thank my wife Emma, who has fully supported me during my playing career, sacrificing a huge amount of time to let me achieve my ambitions and without her I truly believe I wouldn’t have achieved half as much as I have in the game.”
“Finally I’d like to also thank all the fans, staff and players past and present for making my time at Sheffield Eagles such an enjoyable one.”
Howieson played a total of 275 competitive games for the Eagles, scoring 15 times and has played at international level for Scotland, including in the 2008 Rugby League World Cup.
Eagles current vice-captain and fellow prop forward, Mitch Stringer will take over the Captain’s role at the club.
Chairman of Sheffield Eagles, Ian Swire said, “Jack really has been a fantastic ambassador for Sheffield Eagles throughout his thirteen seasons at the club.”
“Coming to the city as a raw boned student he has been fully committed to the club since joining all those years ago and has since become one of the most consistent front row forwards in the Championship.”
“Whilst Jack wasn’t a prolific try scorer, his leadership qualities have been second to none, bringing us back into games where we were struggling to impose ourselves.”
“He’ll take a lot of replacing but we are looking to have a number of young prop forwards making their way through the ranks in the clubs thriving youth structure and they can wish for no better role model than Jack.”
“On behalf of everyone at the Club I’d like to wish Jack all the best in his well earned ‘retirement’ and also thanks to his wife Emma for her selfless support of him and club over the years, both know they are always welcome at the club.”
If your on twitter you can pass on your messages of support to him, he's @JackHowieson
Please see below for image for your use of Jack Howieson (centre right) and Mitch Stringer (centre left) lifting the Championship Trophy in the 2012 Grand Final.