Vastly experienced goalkeeper Mark Howard recently became Wrexham AFC's second summer signing, reuniting with former manager Phil Parkinson.
The 35-year-old goalkeeper joined the Reds after making 40 appearances for Carlisle United in the 2021/22 season and being named their Player of the Season.
After signing for the Cumbrians in mid-October 2021, the Club’s objective was to retain their position in the EFL and Howard was certainly a big piece in that puzzle.
Thirteen clean sheets in a tough campaign for the Blues landed Howard as an integral part of his squad, as Carlisle found goals hard to come by.
The stopper has totalled over 300 career appearances, after beginning his professional career in the Scottish Premiership with Falkirk. Prior to this, he was amongst the youth teams at Arsenal and Cardiff City.
The period between 2007-11 saw limited opportunities at St Mirren and a singular season at Aberdeen, so Howard directed his attention to the English league system, where he joined Blackpool in the Championship in 2011/12.
The following season saw himself join Sheffield United in League One, where he would spend his next four seasons, building a rapport at the Club.
He made 94 appearances for the Blades, included a 2013/14 run to Wembley in the FA Cup. Overcoming Aston Villa, Fulham, Nottingham Forest and Charlton Athletic saw Howard and his side reach Wembley for the Semi-Finals of the FA Cup, before dramatically losing 5-3 to eventual runners-up Hull City.
Another cup run was not far away for Mark Howard, as a heroic League Cup campaign for Sheffield United again in 2014/15, saw the Blades reach a Semi-Final once more, before narrowly losing out to Tottenham Hotspur by three goals to two on aggregate.
A move west in the 2016/17 season saw Howard achieve promotion with Phil Parkinson’s Bolton Wanderers, from League One to the Championship. The goalkeeper found himself in net 28 times that season, finishing second to his former side Sheffield United.
Although finalising their safety in the Championship on the final day of the season in 2018, nine appearances would see Howard move back down to League One, playing for Blackpool in the 2018/19 campaign.
He would go on to make 39 appearances for Blackpool that season, before suffering a seven-month long injury, where his return to action would be in the succeeding campaign in an emergency loan spell for Salford City lasting half a month.
The last two seasons has seen Howard become a prized asset in League Two. A total of 34 appearances in the 2020/21 season for Scunthorpe United, including the only assist of his career, landed Howard in good stead before his successful move to Carlisle in the subsequent season.
Two seasons with a bumper load of appearances under his belt and a wealth of experience will be a valued addition to the goalkeeping union at Wrexham and an integral part of Wrexham’s push for promotion.
Howard spoke fondly about his relationship with Parkinson and indicated a mutual understanding to each other’s attributes in achieving promotion this season.