Ken Howe in action in 2005. Ken Howe in action for the Pies in 2005.
KEN Howe knows it’s crazy.
But after last playing for Murray Magpies in 2005, Howe came out of retirement to play for North Albury reserves against Wangaratta at Norm Minns Oval on the weekend.
“I have been helping out at North Albury with a bit of ruck coaching,” Howe said.
“I made an off the cuff remark to Corey Lambert after the Yarrawonga match that you get itchy feet watching footy.
“Next thing Jason Akermanis approaches me about playing seconds against Wangaratta.
“I said look Aker, I’m 45-years-old, haven’t played in eight years and I haven’t even run a lap in two years — so you do the maths.
“I decided to train on Thursday night to see how I pulled-up.
“After I pulled-up all right I thought I might as well play and try to lose a few hundred grams of fat off my gut.”
Howe said he was taking his comeback one step at a time.
“My first goal was to train. My second goal was to get through a quarter,” he said.
“Surprisingly I ended pulling-up better after the match then I did after my first training run.”
So did Howe impress in his first hit-out in eight years?
“Let’s just say I won a couple of tap-outs,” he joked.
Word quickly spread on Saturday morning that Howe — the 1995 Morris medalist — was making a comeback.
He received dozens of text messages of encouragement from former teammates including Albury premiership coach Michael Buchanan.
Buchanan texted Howe that he hoped he lasted longer than he did in the 1997 grand final after he snapped his Achilles at the opening bounce.
Howe replied “Hang on mate, I have to get through the warm-up first.”
The dual Albury premiership ruckman has also been copping plenty of flak from Tiger supporters after playing for their biggest rival.
“I thought if I wore North Albury colours I might break out in a rash,” he said.
“But I put the jumper on Saturday and I didn’t break out in a rash so all’s good.”
Howe is expecting plenty of banter from the Tigers faithful with the Hoppers to play Albury after the bye.
“I’ve got two weeks to recover so I should be raring to go by then,” he said.
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