Blackpool re-sign former keeper Mark Howard

Mark Howard
Mark Howard

Blackpool boss Gary Bowyer has swooped for a new keeper, snapping up out of contract Bolton man and ex-Seasider Mark Howard.

Howard, 31, was released by Championship club Bolton this summer and now returns for his second spell at the League One club.

The keeper spent five months at Blackpool during the 2011-12 Championship season, making five appearances before switching to Sheffield United in the February after failing to agree terms upon the expiration of his short term deal at Bloomfield Road.

He spent four years at Sheffield United before switching to Bolton and now he has returned to Blackpool to become Bowyer's ninth summer signing, penning a two year deal.

Last season Blackpool delved in to the loan market for their keeper with Bournemouth's Ryan Allsop replaced by QPR youngster Joe Lumley in January.

Lumley was a big hit at Bloomfield Road but Bowyer explained he wanted to have the stability of a permanent number one for the new 2018/19 League One term.

“Mark is another fantastic signing for us. He’s a very experienced goalkeeper who has been successful at this level and he also knows the club and the area well.

“Though we had success in the loan market last season, it was important to have a permanent keeper between the sticks moving forward and I’m delighted that Mark’s agreed to join us.”

Howard only made 10 appearances for Phil Parkinson's Bolton side last season and he cites a quest for more game time and the enthusiasm of Bowyer as the reasons for his return to Blackpool.

He said: “I’ve been speaking to the manager for a few weeks now and spoke to many clubs as well, but after speaking to the manager I definitely wanted to come down and be part of what he’s trying to build here. It’s also important for me to get back playing, and that’s a big motivation in coming.”