Ahead of Wales’ historic Euro 2016 semi-final clash with Portugal tonight, bwfc.co.uk profile a former Wanderer who was a member of the last home-nation squad to reach the semi-finals of a major international tournament.
4 CAPS 0 GOALS
European Championships: 1 (EURO 1996)
Best Stage Reached: SEMI-FINALS
Tournament Appearances: 0
Tournament Goals: 0
An unused member of England’s Euro 96 squad, Steve Howey’s international career may have brief but still coincided with the Three Lions’ best ever showing at the European Championships as they came within a penalty shoot-out of reaching the final.
Handed his international debut against Nigeria in November 1994, the defender would go on to win just four international caps, making further appearances in friendlies against Colombia, Portugal and Bulgaria as England prepared to host the European Championships for the first time.
With his performances for title challengers Newcastle United in the mid-nineties cementing him a place in Terry Venables’ 22-man squad for the tournament, Howey was an unused substitute for all six of England’s matches as they exited the competition on penalties to Germany in the semi-finals.
Watching on from the touchline as an Alan Shearer-inspired England drew 1-1 with Switzerland before beating Scotland 2-0 in their opening two group games, Howey then had the perfect view from the touchline as he witnessed one of the greatest England team performances of all time as they thrashed the Netherlands at Wembley Stadium.
Needing to avoid defeat to guarantee their place in the knock-out stages, Shearer fired the Three Lions ahead from the penalty spot midway through the first half.
A Teddy Sheringham brace and further strike from Shearer in the space of 11 second-half minutes secured England an emphatic 4-1 win – Patrick Kluivert scoring a late consolation for the Dutch – as well as a quarter-final clash with Spain.
Triumphing against the Spanish on penalties, England then lost 6-5 on penalties to Germany in the semi-final, ending both their participation in the tournament and Howey’s international career with the defender never winning a call-up under Venables’ successor, Glenn Hoddle.
Having started his career with Newcastle in 1989, he left the club to join newly-promoted Manchester City in 2000.
Helping the club return to the Premiership in 2002, the defender enjoyed one final season with the Citizens in the top-flight before joining newly-promoted Leicester City at the start of the 2003/04 season.
On the move again six months later, Howey signed for Bolton Wanderers in January 2004, but, like his international career, his time at the Reebok Stadium was brief as he moved on at the end of the season having made just three first team appearances for Sam Allardyce’s side.
Enjoying further brief stints with New England Revolution and Hartlepool United, he hung up his boots once and for all in 2005.
Since going on to try his hand at coaching and media work with BBC Newcastle, Howey is also now a regular on Sky Sports News and has been covering Euro 2016 as a pundit for the channel in recent weeks.