American goalkeeper Tim Howard was the proudest Evertonian at Wembley after his saves sealed a dramatic penalty shoot-out win over former club Manchester United to book a place in the FA Cup final.
The Red Devils left the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney and goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar out of Sunday's semi-final and fielded a team full of youngsters, but one which nevertheless held their own during a goalless 120 minutes. In the end, though, it was the experience of Howard which came through in the shoot-out, saving from Dimitar Berbatov and United captain Rio Ferdinand.
"It probably means more to me than I expected," Howard said following Sunday's dramatic 4-2 penalty shoot-out victory
Howard, now 30, arrived at Old Trafford in 2003 and took the number one jersey from Fabien Barthez, going on to win the FA Cup against Millwall the following season.
However, the American then lost his place in the team following some inconsistent displays, and eventually joined Everton, initially on loan in May 2006, after the arrival of veteran Dutchman Edwin van der Sar.
"I still have got friends there whom I look up to," he added. "I want them to do really well and win the league, but when you go head to head, I am a competitor.
"There is no hard feelings there, but it is nice for me, Louis [Saha] and Phil [Neville] who have all had the privilege to play for Manchester United."
United keeper Ben Foster, in goal again on Sunday, famously used an iPod to view footage of Tottenham's penalty takers before their successful shoot-out in this season's Carling Cup final.
Howard revealed Everton had made sure he was well researched ahead of the spot-kick lottery.
"Technology is crazy, you can look at the penalties from something like the last eight years," Howard said. "However, it was not perfect as I went the wrong way for two of them. Throughout the week, knowing that it could possibly go to penalties, we studied it."
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