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Last Updated: Friday, 12 November, 2004, 13:42 GMT
Howe seals Bournemouth return
Eddie Howe (left) is congratulated by Wade Elliott
Howe's return has been welcomed by everyone at Bournemouth
Bournemouth have re-signed defender Eddie Howe from Portsmouth.

The 26-year-old, who left the Cherries to join Pompey for 400,000 in March 2002, recently completed a successful three-month loan spell at his old club.

He has now reached a settlement over the remaining months of his Fratton Park contract, and agreed a two-and-a-half-year deal with the Cherries.

The move was confirmed on Friday after Bournemouth received clearance from the Premier League.

Howe goes straight into the squad for Saturday's FA Cup first round tie at Forest Green Rovers - after an amazing response from the cash-strapped club's supporters enabled his move to go ahead.

The fan-run Playershare scheme has been running for more than two years, assisting the funding of loan signings - including Howe - and other player contracts for boss Sean O'Driscoll.

EDDIE HOWE FACTFILE
23 December 1995: Makes first-team debut while a youth player, in 2-0 win over Hull
16 May 1998: Is handed the first of two England Under-21 caps by Peter Taylor
28 March 2002: Joins Portsmouth for 400,000
30 March 2002: Injured on his Pompey debut in 2-0 defeat at Preston
10 August 2002: Injured again just nine minutes into the new season
25 March 2003: Joins Swindon on loan, but fails to feature for the Robins' first team
6 August 2004: Returns to Bournemouth on loan
22 September 2004: Scores the winning penalty as Cherries beat Blackburn in Carling Cup
12 November 2004: Rejoins Bournemouth on a two-and-a-half-year deal
However, League rules would not permit the centre-back to remain on loan for more than three months.

On Wednesday evening, chairman Peter Phillips made an appeal over the internet for fans to help bring Howe, himself a lifelong Cherries supporter, back on a permanent basis.

"EddieShare" proved popular as the club received pledges of 13,500 in less than two days - and despite rumoured interest from Reading, Bournemouth got their man.

Phillips admitted: "We are delighted to have Eddie back home. He is immensely popular and everyone is glad to see him back with us.

"Once again, our fans have gone beyond the call of duty to help this football club.

"We hope Eddie's performances will help bring the team success to repay the fans' magnificent loyalty."

O'Driscoll added: "I'd like to thank everyone who has helped us bring Eddie back to Bournemouth.

"We are grateful once again to the generosity and loyalty shown by fans.

"His attitude and performances have been first-class, and it's clear to see why he's a fans' favourite."



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