Whatever happened to #13… Howard, Weston, Deacon, Meade, Oji


MARK HOWARD

Signed scholarship: Summer 2003. Arsenal apps: 0. Subsequent career: Cardiff City, Swansea City (loan), St. Mirren, Aberdeen, Blackpool, Sheffield United.

Now 27, goalkeeper Howard rose through the ranks at the Arsenal Academy and made the bench for the 2005 Community Shield, only to be released the following summer having spent time on loan at Falkirk. He failed to make a single appearance for his next club, Cardiff City, but was something of a regular upon his return to Scotland with St. Mirren. Since then, he has spent time with various clubs, but could be set for a reunion with Arsenal in the FA Cup Final with his latest team Sheffield United.

RHYS WESTON

Signed scholarship: Summer 1997. Arsenal apps: 3. Subsequent career: Cardiff City, Viking, Port Vale, Walsall, Dundee, KR Reykjavik, Sabah FA, AFC Wimbledon, Sutton United (loan). Wales international.

A defender who was capped seven times by Wales between 2000 and 2005, Weston made three senior appearances for Arsenal, including a start away to Newcastle United in the league at the end of the 1999/2000 season. Further chances were limited, however, and he moved to Cardiff City, who he featured for regularly over a six year period. After a brief spell in Norway with Viking, he established himself at Walsall, but, since leaving the Bescot Stadium in 2010 he has become something of a journeyman, representing sides in Iceland and Malaysia. He is currently on loan at Sutton United.

ROARIE DEACON

Signed scholarship: Summer 2008. Arsenal apps: 0. Subsequent career: Sunderland, Stevenage.

A former England U19 international, tricky winger Deacon caught the eye during his time with Arsenal’s youth teams, particularly when featuring for the Reserves during the 2009/10 season, but struggled to get close to the first-team squad. He moved to fellow Premier League side Sunderland following his departure from Emirates Stadium and impressed for the Black Cats at second-string level, but once again had to reassess his options in January last year after being released from his contract. He was picked up by League One side Stevenage, but has made just nine league appearances for his latest side.

JERNADE MEADE

Signed scholarship: Summer 2009. Arsenal apps: 2. Subsequent career: Swansea City, Luton Town (loan).

A diminutive left-back with an excellent understanding of the game, Meade broke into the Arsenal first-team set-up last season, featuring in the dramatic victory over Reading in the Capital One Cup as well as in the Champions League away to Olympiacos. Quick and skilful, having previously been deployed on the left-wing, it came as a surprise to many when Meade left the club last summer. He subsequently joined Swansea City, featuring regularly for their U21 side, and was recently sent on loan to his hometown club Luton Town.

SAM OJI

Signed scholarship: Summer 2002. Arsenal apps: 0. Subsequent career: Birmingham City, Doncaster Rovers (loan), Bristol Rovers (loan), Leyton Orient (loan), Leyton Orient, Hereford United, Ljungskile SK, Tamworth, Limerick.

28 year old defender Oji has enjoyed an interesting and varied career since leaving Arsenal in 2004. He initially joined Birmingham City, but was sent out on loan three times, featuring as a late substitute for Doncaster Rovers against Arsenal in the League Cup. He earned a permanent deal at Leyton Orient, but was soon on the move again to Hereford United before relocating to Swedish side Ljungskile. After spending two years with Tamworth, he is currently contracted to Irish side Limerick.

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