Soccer

Former QPR forward Stan Bowles dies aged 75 following Alzheimer’s battle

After signing for QPR in 1972, Bowles went on to make 315 league appearances, scoring 97 goals over seven seasons.

Stan Bowles made more than 300 league appearances for QPR
Stan Bowles of QPR Stan Bowles made more than 300 league appearances for QPR (PA/PA)

Former QPR forward Stan Bowles has died at the age of 75 after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease, the club have announced.

Bowles started his career as an apprentice at Manchester City, later joining Fourth Division Crewe and then Carlisle.

After signing for QPR in 1972, Bowles 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.

QPR said in a club 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.”

Regarded as one of England’s top talents as well as a maverick, Bowles moved to Nottingham Forest under Brian Clough in 1979, but just a year later joined Second Division Leyton Orient.

Stan Bowles was capped just five times for England
Stan Bowles playing for England Stan Bowles was capped just five times for England (PA Photos/PA)

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.

Bowles is another former footballer to have died after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s.

Chief executive of Alzheimer’s Research UK, Hilary Evans, said: “It is absolutely devastating that Stan’s final years were ruled by Alzheimer’s disease, but unfortunately this is the case for many people in the UK today.

“At Alzheimer’s Research UK, we are determined to change the ending for everyone affected by dementia-causing diseases by finding a cure. The awful news about Stan highlights that we don’t have a moment to waste.”