Howes signs pro contract

West Ham United Academy goalkeeper Sam Howes has signed his first professional contract with the Hammers on the day of his 17th birthday, putting pen to paper on a two-and-a-half year deal.  

Despite his tender years, the highly-rated stopper already has an impressive CV, having this summer made his first-team debut in the Hammers' pre-season tour of New Zealand.  

Howes has also been capped at several different youth levels, most notably en route to England U17s' European Championship success in Malta 2014. 

"It's a really proud day for me, my family and all the coaches," he told "It's nice to see that all the hard work has paid off.

"I was in shock when I found out the contract was coming. I wasn't expecting to get a professional contract. Since I've known, it's been hard to not tell anyone, but it's a very special day, particularly as it's my birthday as well."

Reflecting on a busy year, Howes continued: "It's been a really good few months, starting with the Euros and then of course the tour of New Zealand. I've enjoyed everything about it."

See Howes in action as the U21s next face PSV Eindhoven at the Boleyn Ground on Wednesday 19 November, kick-off 7pm.