Rugby Union: First team coach Micky Howard says goodbye

Date published: 21 May 2019

Having been involved as a player and coach of the senior men's first team at Littleborough Rugby Union Club for more than 20 plus years, it is with great sadness and gratitude that the club says farewell to first team coach Micky Howard.

The 48 year old has been an ever present figure at Rakewood in a coaching capacity since the lofty days at Twickenham in 2011, as well as winning the Lancashire Plate in 2013. Since then, he has been a catalyst for an exciting brand of running rugby, as well as bringing through the emergence of a large number of young and hungry stars.

Stepping away from the senior team to concentrate on the Under 15s with Rob Hensby, Micky will be sorely missed in his current capacity and had these words to say on his step down:

“Coaching, particular as head coach, was a real learning curve for me, developing all the time, and I have learnt a lot over the past two years. Throughout my career with the likes of Mark Elvidge, Richard Rawlinson I was just happy to muck and help out whether that be doing the warm up or help with training.

“The players and coaching staff are a really decent set of lads and I like to think I have helped them play a style of rugby that is attractive to watch. Chris Parks, captain, has been brilliant behind the scenes, a real linkman for everyone as I don’t do social media.”

Littleborough has found this season a challenging one, with numerous injuries ravaging the first team and wider club of players, while other key players have been unavailable for selection due to personal circumstances.

The Rakewood-based side are yet to know if they are to remain in the league, having finished on the same points as relegation rivals Aldwinians at the bottom of the ADM Lancashire Premier division, and needed a heroic victory away at Liverpool St Helens by 49 points to 36 to make a potential great escape from relegation.

David Kearns, who has worked under Micky in both a playing and coaching capacity, said: “He is a coach that is a club man through and through, not one to mince his words. His favourite saying is ‘we are where we are’.”

Kearns, 33, who will remain in his role as fitness coach, continued: “It is nice to see a player and junior coach from the club coaching the senior set up.

“It was a pleasure to work alongside him in his coaching team and his playing philosophy that has bought new young talent into the senior set up."

Micky Howard's replacement, Chris Coop, is one with vast experience, particularly in the code of league as a former rugby league semi-professional with Keighley, Rochdale Hornets and Huddersfield Giants.

Chris Coop in more recent times has been integral to the development of Littleborough's senior ladies’ team as head coach.

The Pink Warriors have doubled in number since its creation and have finished their first season in a competitive league as runners up in the North 2 North division.

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