Stan Bowles, QPR legend and former England 'maverick' footballer, dies aged 75 after battle with Alzheimer's

24 February 2024, 21:15 | Updated: 25 February 2024, 07:46

Stan Bowles, QPR legend and former England 'maverick', dies age 75 following battle with Alzheimer's disease
Stan Bowles, QPR legend and former England 'maverick', dies age 75 following battle with Alzheimer's disease. Picture: Alamy

By Christian Oliver

Former England 'maverick' footballer and Queens Park Rangers legend Stan Bowles has died at the age of 75, his family has announced, following a long battle with Alzheimer's disease.

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Bowles, who made 560 appearances in English football as well as five caps for the national team, won acclaim as one of football's greatest mavericks during his lengthy career.

Before writing his name into the history books at QPR, Bowles started his career as an apprentice at Manchester City, before joining Fourth Division Crewe and then Carlisle.

He eventually signed for QPR in 1972 where he went on to make 315 league appearances, scoring 97 goals over seven seasons, and was part of the team which finished runners-up to Liverpool in the old First Division under Dave Sexton in 1975-76.

Paying tribute to the club legend, QPR said in a statement: "It is with a heavy heart we have learned that QPR icon Stan Bowles sadly passed away this evening (Saturday), aged 75.

"All our thoughts are with his family and friends at this incredibly difficult time. May he rest in peace.

"The club will be confirming how we will be paying a fitting tribute to Stan in due course."

Stan Bowles at Lofus Road at a match arranged to generate funds for later care for him, July 2017
Stan Bowles at Lofus Road at a match arranged to generate funds for later care for him, July 2017. Picture: Alamy
Stan Bowles, who has died at the age of 75 after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease, is pictured in England kit in May 1974.
Stan Bowles, who has died at the age of 75 after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease, is pictured in England kit in May 1974. Picture: Alamy

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The forward was regarded as one of England's top talents as well as one of the game's most overt non-conformists.

Bowles later moved to Nottingham Forest under Brian Clough in 1979, but just a year later joined Second Division Leyton Orient.

Despite his talents, Bowles won just five England caps, his only international goal coming against Wales at Ninian Park in 1974.

Bowles wound down his playing career back in west London with Brentford and retired in 1984, moving into after-dinner speaking, as well as some pundit work and a betting column.

His 1996 autobiography revealed the extent of his drinking, womanising, and gambling during his playing days.

Upon being diagnosed with Alzheimer's, Bowles moved back to Manchester to be cared for by his eldest daughter, Andria.

In 2017, QPR hosted a benefit match in Bowles' honour, playing against Bournemouth to help raise funds for his continuing care.

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