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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Stan Bowles Joins QPR....Thirty-Five Years Ago


35 Years Ago, today (or tomorrow!): One of the truly momentous events/turning points in QPR History: Gordon Jago signed 24 year old "troublemaker" Ex-Manchester City, ex-Bury, Ex-Crewe, Stan Bowles, from Carlisle for 110,000 pounds: A QPR and Division Two record fee. [See Rothmans Football Year Book report, although date seems incorrect - Rothmans See AlsoBowles Photos - From prime footballer, to 'elder statesman'.

Some player signings are only in hindsight great (or terrible) signings; but with Bowles...Anyone who had seen Bowles playing for Carlisle at the mud-bath of Loftus Road a few months earlier (after we had sold Marsh): QPR won 3-0 but Bowles had been brilliant. Even without Bowles, QPR might well have grabbed promotion that season. But Bowles and QPR: Synonimous with flair.)

Bowles made his QPR debut -wearing THE #10 shirt, a few days later: September 16, 1972 - QPR won 3-0. Bowles made the first goal of Givens and scored the second (Andy McCulloch scored QPR's third).
QPR team that day:
Clement Evans Hazell Watson
Venables Francis Busby
Givens Bowles Mcculloch - Sub: Salvage

Suffice it to say that within weeks, fans were already calling Bowles THE greatest #10 (and the debate continues to this day). When a few months later, there were press rumours of Chairman Jim Gregory doing a swop: Bowles back to Manchester City in exchange for Rodney Marsh returning to QPR, fans were opposed. And after QPR's promotion, fans (and reportedly players) had no wish to see Marsh return to replace Bowles.

Bowles record in getting QPR back up..in helping to establish QPR in the First Division; in making QPR THE London team of the mid 1970s...our "Championship" season...and Bowles record scoring in the EUFA Cup competition the following season...His (pathetically few) five England Caps...His partnership with Gerry Francis et al...Great memories.

[Bowles played his last game for QPR in December 1979, against Wrexham (no longer wearing the #10 shirt). Tommy Docherty sold Bowles to Brian Clough's Nottingham Forest]

See Also:

BBC - Stan Bowles Voted QPR's All-Time Cult Hero

See Crewe Profile of Stan Bowles - Crewe on Bowles

Stan Bowles - Sporting Hero

Stan Bowles/Wikipedia

Daves's Queens Park Rangers FC Profile of Bowles - Bowles Remembered

Another Bowles Profile - Profile
Stan Bowles Autobiography Book Reviewed in When Saturday Comes - Bowles Review

Bowles features prominently in The Book, The Mavericks

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