This is a quick mini-series about a few '70's "maverick" footballers. Starting with...
I don’t know what it was with footballers in the 1970’s, drinking, gambling, punch ups, sleeping with someone else’s birds… you never see that with the modern day players. Oh.
One of these so-called rebels was like the next player I’m going to profile, somebody with exceptional talent but was called up by England only a handful of times. Those times though were the mid 70’s when the type of football being played in England wasn’t exactly one of skill. There was a time when players such as Tommy Smith, Norman Hunter and “Chopper” Harris dictated how games were played. Usually with a leg breaking tackle or two.
But there was Stan Bowles, who leapt over these challenges.
Bowles started out with his hometown team of Man City, but after three seasons because of constant falling outs with…well anybody who was close enough…he was eventually released. After a brief spell at Bury, Crewe and then (2nd Division) Carlisle, it was here that he caught the eye and joined QPR in January 1972.
He replaced in the team another QPR folk-hero, Rodney Marsh, who had been transferred to Bowles’ first club Manchester City six months before. Bowles took over Marsh’s number 10 shirt, which other players had been reluctant to wear in fear of being compared to Marsh. Bowles had no qualms about taking the shirt, primarily because he said that, coming from the North, he had never heard of Marsh.
His rebelliousness and misbehaviour continued when in 1973 his QPR team were away at Sunderland, who had just won the FA Cup.
Before the match kicked off the trophy was paraded around the ground and then placed on a table at the side of the pitch.
Bowles spotted this, took a ball and kicked it towards the cup, knocking it flying off the table.
Even with his most successful period at QPR, he still had differences with the management. As seen below when Dave Sexton, the boss of QPR was trying to sub him in a match against West Ham:
Eventually he left QPR to be sold to Brian Clough’s Nottingham Forest and I don’t have to tell you how they didn’t get on and… he was on the move again to Leyton Orient before his final club – Brentford.
He retired in 1984 and went the usual after dinner speaker/pundit route before once again replacing Rodney Marsh (more about that in another post) this time on Sky Sports.
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|» The Others – Stan Bowles|