Having been released by his first club, Rotherham United, in 1994, Jon Howard joined The Spireites from Buxton in November of that year after successful reserve trials, a month after his release from The Millers. Effective as a forward both wide on the right and in a central striking position, his pace, control and ability to appear in the right place at the right time were strong features of his play.
Although not popular with all elements of the crowd, his attitude to work perfectly suited John Duncan's 'team first' ethos. Jon made telling contributions to Chesterfield's play-off win of 1994-5 and the run to the FA Cup semi-finals in '96-7, winning the penalty that put Forest out and scoring the famous, Geoff Hurst-style "goal that never was" (or, rather, "was, but wasn't given") in the Old Trafford match.
Jon signed a two and a half year contract in January 1999 but found first-team opportunities limited after the departure of John Duncan. A move to midfield reduced his opportunities up front but Nicky Law restored him to the forward line in 2000-1 and he scored twice in a comprehensive defeat of Leyton Orient, before knee ligament damage curtailed his season. When Law left he was relocated to midfield again but still managed a tidy 5 goals from his 11 starts in 2001-2. By now a fringe player, Jon was loaned to Burton Albion in March 2003 and made the move permanent during that summer.
After one season with Burton Jon stepped away from football for a while, becoming a driving instructor. He began playing again in 2006 with Maltby Main and then Dinnington Town, but Jon hung his boots up for the last time in 2007, when he became a police community support officer in Sheffield. He currently works in business development & account management for Scout 7, a football scouting and recruitment company.
For Chesterfield: 152+84 Football League appearances, 39 goals.