On this day (24 December) in 1948 the great maverick Mancunian footballer Stan Bowles was born. Here’s a profile of him…
Bowles joined City as an amateur on 27 July 1965, becoming an apprentice on 1 October 1965 and then professional on 29 December 1966.
Then in 1967 things really began to happen and Bowles’ first game was as a substitute in a League Cup tie at home to Leicester City. He scored two goals in the second half and the following Saturday he made his League debut another memorable one. He scored two again!
Lots of stories have circulated over the years about his time at City. Like Mario Balotelli many years later some are truthful; others are exaggerations and some are completely make up.
The stories go that Bowles once missed a flight to Amsterdam where City were to play against Ajax, and that Bowles’ interest in the horses led to Joe Mercer saying: ‘If Stan could pass a betting shop like he can pass a ball, he’d be a world beater.’ Suspensions and other issues led to Stan refusing to sign a new contract and he asked to leave. That in itself led to him being suspended for 14 days on the advice of the Football League.
Inevitably Bowles moved on, first to Bury (July 1970) and then to Crewe (September 1970).
A spell at Carlisle followed and then in September 1972 a bid of £110,000 took him to Loftus Road where he won five England caps as a QPR player.
Seven years later Nottingham Forest’s Brian Clough bought him for £210,000 but sold him again less than a year later after further issues. Further spells were reported at Orient, Brentford, Hounslow and Epping.
In 2015 it was announced he was suffering with Alzheimer’s Disease, like his former boss Joe Mercer.
At City Bowles made a total of 20 first team appearances, scoring 4 goals, but he remains recognised as a hugely talented player.
There are articles on this site mentioning Bowles. Here’s a selection: