sport news Farewell Stan the Man! QPR legend Bowles was the ultimate maverick No. 10 who ... trends now

sport news Farewell Stan the Man! QPR legend Bowles was the ultimate maverick No. 10 who ... trends now
sport news Farewell Stan the Man! QPR legend Bowles was the ultimate maverick No. 10 who ... trends now

sport news Farewell Stan the Man! QPR legend Bowles was the ultimate maverick No. 10 who ... trends now

There was something of a tradition in days of yore for young football reporters to gather for a beer before Saturday matches at QPR’s Loftus Road ground.

Stan The Man would breeze into the Queen’s Tavern in South Africa Road about half an hour before the 3 pm kick-off, after popping into the corner shop to buy a packet of fags.

He would smoke the first of those cigarettes for luck, down his pint, then stop at the adjacent betting shop to place his bets for the day’s races. He would make it to the home dressing room too late for the manager’s team talk but just in time to pull on his kit and boots and run last out of the tunnel. To roars of acclamation from the crowd.

Whether or not there was a break in play he would drift towards the touchline shortly before half time and call out to a couple of regular fans close to the home dug-out, who would tell him which nag had won the 3.30 at somewhere like Haydock Park.

That would be repeated during the second half for information on more of the day’s races. After the post-match interviews – always jocular affairs win or lose on the gee-gees or in the game -we would reconvene at the pub. Then he would be off carousing through Saturday night with Don Shanks, his team-mate and flat-mate. Perhaps via a punter’s house call at the nearest dog track.

Stan Bowles was the ultimate maverick No 10, and one of football's greatest characters

Stan Bowles was the ultimate maverick No 10, and one of football's greatest characters 

Bowles played just five times for England as managers did not trust him at the highest level

Bowles played just five times for England as managers did not trust him at the highest level

Of all the maverick wearers of the iconic No 10 shirt who left the game with their lavish talent only partly fulfilled, Stanley Bowles was the supreme rascal. Like his soul-mates of the Seventies he played precious few games for England, untrusted at the highest level as they all were by such professionally demanding managers as Sir Alf Ramsey and Ron Revie.

Rodney Marsh, who he replaced as the showman of Queen’s Park Rangers but who faltered at Manchester City, would find eventually a natural niche for himself as a great entertainer in US soccer.

Alan Hudson, idolised at Chelsea, had his genius tragically cut short by devastating injuries inflicted by a hit and run driver in a London street. Tony Currie was

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