Football: THE ROAD TO WEMBLEY; Coca Cola FOOTBALL LEAGUE PLAY-OFF WEEKEND SPOTLIGHT ON THE BATTLE FOR PROMOTION CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL: DERBY v WEST BROM MONDAY, 3PM.
WHEN Steve Howard says he grafted on the road to success, the Derby striker really means it. He worked as a labourer on the roads in his native North East when he was a teenager before he got his big break with Hartlepool.
The burly target man was playing for Chris Waddle's old club Tow Law Town and was out in all weathers from 6am until 6pm before dashing off to training two nights a week.
That's why Monday's Championship play-off final at Wembley means so much to him. "I always dreamed I'd be a footballer, even when I was a labourer," said Howard.
"I took a pay cut to become a professional footballer. I used to make a few quid on the roads and it was a bit of a sacrifice to make financially, but making it as a footballer was always my goal."
West Brom captain Paul Robinson has warned Derby not to cut up rough.
Albion have a reputation for silky football but Red Robbo, sent off twice this season, said: "We expect it to be difficult and physical. If Derby put their foot in, we will do it too."
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|Publication:||The Mirror (London, England)|
|Date:||May 26, 2007|
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