Leading striker Rene Howe departs Bedford Town for second time

Rene Howe top scored as Bedford Town won the league

Bedford Town’s top scorer from a fruitful campaign last season, Rene Howe has confirmed his departure from the club for the second time.

The 35-year old returned to Bedford Town in August 2020 for a second spell at the club following a successful stint from 2003-2006, in which the nomadic striker helped Bedford Town in their promotion to Conference South.

Read: Local boy Rene Howe returns home to Bedford Town

Now, after leading the line for another promotion; this time to the Southern League Premier, the characterful striker has called time once more at The Eyrie.

Reflecting on a successful two year spell, Howe said, “To win the league and finish top goal scorer was a fitting end to my Bedford Town playing career.

“Two promotions, seventeen years apart with my hometown team, whilst scoring over 50 goals is something I am very proud of.

“I wish Bedford Town all the best for the future in step three, and will be looking out for the scores every weekend. Bedford Town is a great club and ready to climb the leagues.”

Howe scored 33 goals this season in all competitions and also finished as the Southern League Central Division One top scorer with 27 goals, showing all the quality that helped the Bedford born striker to a successful Football League career.

His career started at Bedford Town in 2003 as a green 17-year old teenager, scoring 31 goals in 81 appearances and caught the eye of the likes of Peterborough United, Lincoln City and Morecambe.

There is no sign as of yet whether Howe will call time on his career or look to move elsewhere.

Manager Gary Setchell was as complimentary as ever on his star man and will now need to scour the transfer market to replace a striker who has been his go to goal scorer.

“I understand why Rene has made the decision to move on. Playing step three is a bigger commitment with time, and living where he does with a young family, his decision is understandable.”

Walker also leaves as Eagles re-shape squad

Dan Walker, who re-joined Bedford Town after a short-lived move to Biggleswade Town mid-season also leaves the club and with Rory McAuley also unavailable, Setchell has a task on his hands to replace some key players.

Read: Bedford Town player faces four-and-a-half years jail for drug offences

On the plus side, Connor Tomlinson, who also enjoyed a very good season alongside Howe has signed a new two-year contract keeping him at The Eyrie until 2024 with Drew Richardson signing a one-year extension.

The loss of Howe though is sure to hit hard as Bedford Town make the jump up to Step Three in the pyramid, with a busy summer of transfer activity ahead for Gary Setchell and his team.

Bedford Town have been confirmed to be playing in Southern League Premier Division next season alongside Rushden and Diamonds, Hitchin Town and St Ives Town.

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