Former Everton goalkeeper Tim Howard announced his full retirement from football this morning. The 40 year old played 354 times for the Blues, and has now called time on his career after 22 years between the sticks for six different clubs.

Initially joining on loan from Manchester United in the summer of 2006, Howard made his debut for Everton against Watford on the opening day of the 2006/2007 season. The stopper would impress so much in his loan spell that David Moyes would secure his services permanently for a fee of around £3 million. What a bargain that would prove to be!

By the end of the 2008/2009 season, he had endeared himself to the Gwladys Street faithful. Saving two shootout penalties in a FA Cup Semi-final against Manchester United, Howard’s heroics secured the Blues a place in the final against Chelsea. The following season he then captained Everton for the first time, leading them out against Chelsea in December 2009.

Howard even managed to join the handful of Premier League goalkeepers to have scored a league goal during his time at Goodison. His 101-yard clearance caught wind and lobbed Adam Bogdan in the Bolton net, making him only the fourth keeper to score since the start of the Premier League.

A hero for club and country, his stellar performances for the US Men’s National team at the 2014 World Cup sparked a social media frenzy, with the hashtag #ThingsTimHowardCouldSave going viral on Twitter during the competition.

The American would announce his departure from the club in 2016 after 10 years of solid shot stopping. In a statement to the fans, he said: “I will remain an Evertonian for life. This will always be my team, my club.”

Howard would transfer to Colorado Rapids in the MLS in March 2016, the side he would go on to captain until his retirement today.

Photo Credits Creative Commons picture by Александр Осипов from Ukraine