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Non-league: Injured Howes victim of a cruel gag
STRICKEN non-league star Glenn Howes was the unwitting victim of a cruel jibe which has created more bad blood between bitter Dorset rivals Poole and Wimborne.
Howes’s playing career remains in the balance after he suffered a serious leg injury when he was caught by a reckless late tackle during Poole’s clash at Merthyr 12 days ago.
Numerous other clubs and supporters from the non-league fraternity have rallied round Howes with Poole producing a special t-shirt emblazoned with the motto ‘Win It For Howesy’.
However, ahead of Tuesday’s Dorset Senior Cup tie against Gillingham Town, Poole officials were left fuming when they arrived at Wimborne’s Cuthbury to find the slogan had been mocked.
The Dolphins, who were allotted the home dressing room for the semi-final tie, were met with a hand-written message on the changing room notice board which read ‘Don’t win it for Howesy’.
It is understood to have been the collective handiwork of a group of Wimborne players who had penned the comment following a training session.
And while the Daily Echo has learned the original message may have read ‘Win It For Howesy’ – as a sarcastic reference to the t-shirt – an unnamed Wimborne player is believed to have added the ‘Don’t’.
Wimborne, who last night set up another duel with Poole by booking their place in the Dorset Senior Cup final at the expense of Weymouth, have downplayed the incident.
However, Poole boss Tom Killick, speaking to Hot Radio following their 4-1 win over Gillingham, slammed the prank as “disrespectful” and, in a reference to their club’s success compared with Wimborne, said “jealousy is a terrible thing”.
Wimborne, who currently trail Poole by 27 points in Division One South & West of the Southern League, were one of the first clubs to send a message of good wishes to Howes after news of his injury had become apparent.
In a statement issued to the Daily Echo, Wimborne said: “Firstly, the club wishes to emphasise that everyone at Wimborne Town, especially the players, feels for Glenn Howes and wish him all the best as he recovers from the dreadful injury he sustained at Merthyr.
“Most of the Wimborne players have played alongside most of the Poole players at some time and there is real camaraderie as well as rivalry between the two teams.
“The comment that was written in our changing room was done completely in jest and we are surprised that the Poole Town manager felt it was worthy of mention.”
Earlier this season, Killick ruffled a few feathers at Cuthbury when he told the Echo no Wimborne player would improve his Poole team. His comments were pinned on the Wimborne dressing room wall ahead of their 3-0 win over their rivals in the Southern League Cup.
And a section of Dolphins supporters had previously labelled Wimborne as ‘Poole Town reserves’, a reference to the number of former Tatnam players in the Cuthbury ranks.