Ex-Hatter Jake Howells ends up in goal as he reaches 500 career appearances

Popular Town stalwart dons the glove during his milestone match
Former Hatter Jake Howells in action for LutonFormer Hatter Jake Howells in action for Luton
Former Hatter Jake Howells in action for Luton

Former Luton player Jake Howells racked up his 500th career appearance at the weekend, ending up going in goal for current club Hemel Hempstead Town.

The 29-year-old was part of the Tudors side who went to Tonbridge Angels in the National League South and were leading 2-1 going into the closing stages.

An injury to number one Dean Snedker meant Howells donned the gloves for the seven minutes of stoppage time that followed after the Tudors had used all their substitutes.

He wasn’t beaten to ensure an away day victory, also named in the division’s team of the day side as well, as tweeting about his achievement, Howells said: “500 Career Appearances I’ll never forget this one, finishing as a goalkeeper.

“What a journey it’s been over the years! Plenty of memories and friends made along the way.”

Howells started his career in the youth ranks at Luton, breaking through to make his debut on May 3, 2008, replacing Sol Davis in the 1-0 League One defeat at home to Huddersfield Town.

He went on to feature 36 times the following season and was part of the team who were relegated out of the Football League due to the FA’s hefty points deduction.

Howells stayed at the club during their non-league days, barring one loan spell at Yeovil Town, helping Luton achieve Football League status once more in 2014.

His last game came in a 4-1 win over Exeter on May 7, 2016 playing for 89 minutes, replaced by Frankie Musonda, as he was released in the summer, ending a career at Kenilworth Road that saw the former Wales U21 international amass 334 appearances, the 16th most in the club's history, while also score 31 goals.

After leaving Luton, Howells linked up with Eastleigh, before a loan spell at Ebbsfleet and then going to Dagenham & Redbridge to play under former Luton boss John Still.

Howells, who named the best Town XI he had ever lined up with earlier this year, left in June 2018, heading to Billericay, then moved to Hemel in the summer of 2019, named as Tudors captain this term.