Bournemouth split with Eddie Howe, a man who was more than a manager | Ben Fisher

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The 42-year-old’s departure leaves the club with a trove of gleeful memories but an uncertain future

If relegation hurt, the departure of Eddie Howe brought a numbing sadness to Bournemouth supporters. When the news filtered through, one could forgive those who did a double-take despite knowing how their slide consumed him, the manager almost breaking into tears in an interview after their fate was confirmed amid the loneliness of a deserted Goodison Park.

Howe and Bournemouth will always be synonymous after their journey from the brink of extinction to the Premier League, and what an extraordinary ride it was. Outside the stadium on Sunday morning, a piece of paper that read “Eddie We Love U Please Don’t Leave” was plastered on to signage. More than anything Howe was immensely proud to lead and represent the club he first walked into as a boy, for whom he went on to make more than 250 appearances before stepping into coaching at the age of 29 while still on the books as a player. He first took charge of the club’s under-14s, before being appointed manager in 2009 after a successful spell as caretaker. In those days, he would clip videos of his players on a laptop and a DVD player.

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