A reunion with his family helps Eddie Howe see the grassroots’ passion for Newcastle
Newcastle boss Eddie Howe is watching football even more this season than last after moving to Tyneside with his family and it has helped him to see just how much passion there is for the high-flying Magpies.
The 44-year-old, who joins Tottenham in the Premier League on Sunday, spent his first few months as Newcastle head coach in a hotel while his wife Vicki and their three young sons stayed on the south coast, where the family had stayed during his tenure in Bournemouth lived.
However, they are now reunited in the Northeast, and that has brought new responsibilities.
Eddie Howe says he spends his evenings watching his two sons play local youth football
When asked how the move had affected his life, Howe said: “It has certainly changed my evenings when I would otherwise be watching a different game!
“I traveled a lot to different football arenas with my two sons. My two eldest sons are both part of teams and it was great to get around the area, meet different people and get a better understanding of the youth football circuit here.
“It strikes me how passionate all the children, boys and girls, are for Newcastle.
“Before my son played last night there is a girls team – I’m not sure how old they are – and they all wear Newcastle shirts. The passion just comes over you right away, that was great to see. This is how I spend most of my evenings.”
How says the “passion grabs you right away” when he attends the local youth games
Howe’s presence on the touchline at grassroots games may draw attention, but he enjoys meeting other parents and hearing their views on the work he and his players are doing after an encouraging start to the season.
He said: “They were actually very good. Everyone was very friendly, very welcoming. They respect that I’m there to support my sons but they still had the urge to talk about Newcastle and I fully respect and understand that.
“It’s been healthy for me to get out there and share those Newcastle stories about how proud everyone is of the team at the moment.”
The man given the task of coaching Howe’s sons could be forgiven for being intimidated by his trial.
Howe has managed to guide Newcastle to sixth in the league as they pursue a European spot
However, as a member of Manchester United’s famous Class of ’92 alongside the likes of Gary and Phil Neville, Ryan Giggs, Nicky Butt, David Beckham and Paul Scholes, Paul Gough put up with it all.
Howe said, “You know what? I was so impressed with him. I want to give a special mention, Paul Gough, brilliant coach.
“He was part of the class of 1992 at Manchester United so he has a football background and I’ve really enjoyed watching him coach my sons. He’s top notch.”