Jon Howe

Freelance Writing Services

 
Abandoned Car.
Abandoned Car. © Andrew Howe.

Reviews and Testimonials

Book Reviews

All White: Leeds United's 100 Greatest Players cover.

"Where the book scores heavily is in the author's crafted profiles, especially in his use of insightful snippets delivered from a fan's point of view, like the way rugged defender Neil Aspin always seemed to be sporting some kind of bandage, that trade in sentiment better than raw career data, although you wonks get an appearances and goals summary to update your notebooks with. All White succeeds where other football books lapse into irrelevance on two counts. Firstly, it's not written by a journalist who seeks to put dry impartiality above considering a player's merits when judged from a fans' critical perspective. Neither though is it overly partisan. Secondly, it manages to transcend the obvious limitations of its format by combining the straight facts with anecdotes from the protagonists (a fine example being David Batty's take on Alan Smith's disciplinary problems) simultaneously avoiding pointless direct comparisons between individual players from different eras. Trust me, Jon could've written a book of the hundred worst players to (dis)grace the hallowed turf in just the last five years, but for now Tony Capaldi et al will have to wait." Andy Peterson, Sabotage Times


The Only Place For Us: An A-Z History of Elland Road cover.

"Leeds United fan Jon Howe has penned the definitive history of the Whites' Elland Road ground. In amongst the text is a wealth of colour: photographs from every era, match tickets across the years, programmes... There are diagrams of the stadium's redevelopment over the decades, timelines of the changes and statistics to drown in; every postponement since the World War Two and a list of competitive rugby fixtures played there. The funny tales are a treat too: David Batty, who writes the foreword, locking long-serving physio Alan Sutton in the referee's room for hours and sneaking into Elland Road to listen through the wall as his father fought his corner in contract negotiations. By the final pages, you are left with a sense of how emotionally empty United would be in a generic, plastic, out-of-town bowl. Deep down you hope Leeds never leave." -- Yorkshire Evening Post

"What The Square Ball has built up, ad hoc, over the last 25 years, Jon has captured in The Only Place For Us, in 288 large-format hard-backed pages, that spread across more than a century; it's an essential purchase for anyone who wants to understand why Leeds United Football club is more than just the spangled product TV companies have abstracted to sell, but something that has resonance at every level of the city...it can feel like a secret system of signs if you haven't grown up with it, but for twenty quid, Jon's book will crack the code." -- The City Talking

"Leeds fan and author Jon Howe hosted a great night after the win at Middlesbrough at the Old Peacock, as he launched his brilliant book The Only Place For Us: An A-Z History of Elland Road. My best mate is an author and so I have some idea of what it takes to write, publish and market a piece of work you have dedicated a huge swathe of your time and emotional well-being to. It was excellent to see a local talent like Jon supported in great numbers." -- Adam Pope BBC Radio Leeds

"The great virtue of this book is that it observes Elland Road in the round. Events and experiences spanning a century and more are gathered together in alphabetically-themed segments, producing a more full-blooded narrative than a more straightforward chronological account may have been able to convey. Pretty much every nook and cranny of Elland Road is profiled in detail during the course of the book, the witty and informative text accompanied by a fine set of archived photos...shows how wide the author has cast his net in seeking to capture the soul and essence of Elland Road." -- Groundtastic magazine book review

"Not so much an encyclopaedia as an obsession. A book that can tell you what vegetables were grown on the land before there was a football pitch and which wall by the players tunnel had a cigarette machine on it is a must for all Leeds United fanatics. No book will ever be able to match it for the sheer volume of knowledge about Elland Road." -- James Brown - former NME writer, Loaded and Sabotage Times founder, ex-GQ editor

"If you have a mind that will readily boggle, prepare to do so if you happen to buy The Only Place For Us. It is simply staggering to contemplate the scale and extent of research undertaken by author Jon Howe to produce this massive fact-and-photo filled tome. There are some fantastic pictures showing Elland Road in different eras and how it has changed. The book tells you everything you wanted to know about the ground - and things you would never dream of thinking about. It is so thorough, even more comprehensive than those famous dossiers Don Revie used to prepare on rival players." --Book of the Week, Blackpool Gazette

"Effortlessly, comprehensively fills a large gap on any Leeds United fan's bookshelf... A veritable feast... Read the book from cover to cover, or dip into it at random; this is a book that can be devoured or sampled... Anyone who has a Leeds fan in their life; someone deserving of a real treat - you could hardly do better. And, I'd venture to suggest, it's a book with something of interest to offer on a broader basis; any football fan would surely find it fascinating. Strongly recommended." --Life, Leeds United, the Universe and Everything

"As a Leeds fan of 40 years, with an extensive library all things Revie and beyond - I can only say that this is the finest of all the books I have read on the club I love. It is indeed a labour of love itself - a master work. After reading it, you feel like having a day out just walking the perimeter of the ground with no match in sight. Waiting at the kick off you will view every aspect of this historic stadium in a new light. The attention to detail is fascinating, but the author writes beautifully, fluently - and with an obvious passion for the club. As a writer myself - I take my hat off to this superb project. Buy this now - it will be a classic for years to come. Simply magnificent." -- Amazon customer review

"The Only Place For Us: An A-Z History of Elland Road, this mighty new tome by United fan Jon Howe, really is something else. Many are the club histories, with their passing nods to the development of Elland Road. Many are the ghosted autobiographies, bringing us the players' memories of performing on that familiar stage. But never before has the place been so forensically examined, its history so assiduously chronicled. The book knows that the fans adore the stadium, it acknowledges that affinity between supporter and structure. It sets out to feed that yearning for more detail, more history, more about the place itself and all its quirks and idiosyncrasies. And what it serves up is a veritable feast." -- Amazon customer review

"As a Leeds United anorak of 40 years standing I expected this to be a nice coffee-table book but I doubted whether it would tell me much I didn't already know nor contain many pictures I hadn't seen published elsewhere. How wrong I was...This is a fantastically researched tome...There's so much to savour within the book's 288 pages and far more than can be covered by a short review. Suffice to say that this is a must-read for any Leeds United supporter but football fans in general or anyone with an interest in architecture or social history will also find plenty to enjoy." -- Amazon customer review

"A truly wonderful book......the magnificent front cover draws you in and you will not be disappointed. The amount of research and level of detail contained within the book is staggering. The combination of personal stories mixed with the hard facts detailing Elland Road's evolution over the years makes this a winning combination. There are some superb photographs documenting the development of ER and the surrounding areas, many of which have never been published before. This book is a must buy for any Leeds supporter." -- Amazon customer review

Article Comments

Received lots of positive feedback on the David Batty "My Sporting Hero" tribute written for MoreSport.com MoreSport.com: David Batty - Leeds' spit and sawdust superhero

Client Testimonials

"Jon has written for me on a number of occasions in the last 12 months relating to topics on Leeds. I would recommend Jon to anyone who is looking for a reliable writer who has great writing skills." -- Darren Cronian, founder of Tourism Hive and My Life in Leeds website

"Jon produced some interesting and informative articles about Airport Parking and the wider travel industry that we were very pleased with, and it was a pleasure to feature these well researched pieces of work across our websites." -- Dave Greenbrown, MD of the Travel Parking Group

"Jon has been a consistently reliable and entertaining contributor to the Leeds United match day programme for several seasons, now. Just as he previously did for the club magazine, he delivers copy to deadline and is both creative and witty." -- Neil Jeffries, Production Editor, Leeds United official publications

"Jon's enthusiasm in his writing shines through in his articles, which were a pleasure to read and edit over a three month period. He is easy to work with, pays attention to detail, and willing to be proactive in terms of selecting content to write." -- Dan Coombs, Sports Editor

"Jon is an excellent copywriter with a creative flair and an ability to write content on a wide range of subjects. He always meets deadlines, provides detailed, well-researched articles and is a pleasure to work with." -- Carly Chaffer, Director, CVC Marketing

"Jon Howe is a professional and friendly content writer to work with. Having worked with him on a couple of small projects in the past we have been really impressed with his quality of work and ability to meet deadlines. We would recommend him – 10/10. Thriving Digital Limited


Awards

In December 2014 the Leeds United independent supporters' magazine I have contributed to since 1993, The Square Ball, won a nationally-recognised award for the second time. At the Football Supporters' Federation annual awards in London, the magazine won the Fanzine of the Year category, repeating the success of 2011. The magazine was nominated along with six other titles and won by a public vote. I attended the awards ceremony with six other members of The Square Ball team.

Here is a link to a story in the Yorkshire Evening Post about the award Yorkshire Evening Post: Champion night as Leeds United fanzine takes national title

FSF Awards win The Square Ball.