'Age is irrelevant' says Michael Carrick as Jonny Howson signs Middlesbrough contract extension

Jonny Howson signs a new Middlesbrough contract
Jonny Howson signs a new Middlesbrough contract -Credit:Middlesbrough FC

Jonny Howson has signed a new Middlesbrough contract ahead of the final game of the season, confirming that he will remain at the club next season.

Another 12-month extension, it comes after Howson won the Player's Player of the Year award on Thursday evening at the club's end-of-season awards. Earlier that day, boss Michael Carrick had given the biggest hint that the veteran would be sticking around next season when, with a wry smile, he opined that Saturday's clash with Watford was unlikely to be Howson's final game.

Heading into his eighth season at Boro since his move from Norwich City in 2017, the midfielder had made clear his desire to play on next season after another solid season for the club, despite them missing out on their collective goal of earning promotion to the Premier League. Setting such high standards individually, Howson continues to prove age is but a number as he turns 36 later this month.

READ MORE: Jonny Howson's desire to play on, plans after retirement and remaining Middlesbrough ambition

That was certainly the view of his head coach, who reacted to the new deal, saying: “Jonny is a prime example of what it takes. His age is irrelevant, he trains more or less every single day and hates missing anything, he’s adamant he wants to do it and he can do it. He’s a pleasure to have as the leader of our group and long may it continue.”

Speaking to Teesside Live earlier in the season when first revealing his desire to play on next season, Howson had made clear the reasons for still being so dedicated to the sport and his fitness, which ultimately ensures he can play on. As well as making family proud, it's very much a case of unfinished business at the Riverside.

He said: "I’ve spoken about a fair few different reasons that I’ve got that are priorities and motivation for me. That’s not changed. If I was to stop playing tomorrow, I could look back on my career and everything I’ve achieved with pride. There are things that I haven’t achieved that I would have loved to, but it’s not been for a lack of trying.

"I still enjoy it for myself but that's my biggest motivation, to keep playing as long as possible to keep making memories for my kids. Also, I've spoken in the past, I'd love to be part of this club getting promoted because when I came here that was the aim and we've still not achieved that, so that is a disappointment and while I'm here I won't stop trying to do that."