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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Stan Bowles Turns Sixty!....Brian Bedford Turns Seventy-Five!

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- Two Rangers Heroes from different eras: Stan Bowles and Brian Bedford share a milestone birthday today. Stan Bowles turns sixty. Brian Bedford turns seventy-five

Stan Bowles, turns Sixty: Born December 24, 1948...

Stan Bowles in Photos - Brief Bowles video snippets : -- Stan Bowles couple of seconds.......Bowles invovlement in 1975 Goal of the season......(and as posted yesterday)1977 Video of QPR (with Don Givens, Stan Bowles and Leighton James at home to Manchester United [Additional Bowles video clips welcome!)

It's almost thirty years since Stan Bowles played his last professional game for QPR, and still the memories linger on. The man who, in the eye of fans, superceeded Rodney Marsh as THE greatest at QPR! (Last year, supporters of every club were asked to pick their all time favourite player for their club. QPR fans selected Stan Bowles. (So did Brentford fans!)

Say QPR and #10 and the shirt belongs to either Marsh or Bowles....
For anyone old enough to remember the early 1970s: The despair at QPR/The End of the World: When Rodney left QPR in March 1972....And then six months later, the signing of Bowles joining (an already rampant) QPR under Gordon Jago...
Bowles made his QPR debut versus Nottingham Forest - September 16, 1972 after QPR paid a record transfer fee of 110,000 pounds.....Made the first; scored the second
Gordon Jago signed Forward/Midfielder Stan Bowles for QPR in September 1972 paying Carlisle 110,000 pounds (a then-record for QPR). Bowles played 250+ games scoring 70 league goals. Tommy Docherty sold him to Nottingham Forest in December 1979 for 250,000 pounds.
Bowles helped QPR to promotion in his first season and of course was an integral part of the 1975/76 "Championship" Side.
The only question for QPR fans is who was QPR's greatest-ever: Stan Bowles or Rodney Marsh...
Recent fan surveys give that title to Bowles. In a recent PFA Poll of fans, fans of each club were asked to vote for the best player in their club's history. For QPR fans, the vote went to Stan Bowles. (For Brentford fans, the vote went to...Stan Bowles!)

September 1972: Bowles Joins QPR
Bowles made his debut at home to (pre-Brian Clough's) Nottingham Forest, September 16, 1972, two or three days after signing from Carlisle for a club-record 110,000 pounds. Bowles, wearing from that very first game, HIS #10 shirt. Within an hour, he had made the first goal for Don Givens...and scored the second...as Gordon Jago's QPR won 3-0 (Andy McCulloch getting the third). And QPR, of course, went on to promotion.
QPR's team that day.
Clement Evans Hazell Watson
Venables Francis Busby
Givens Bowles Mcculloch
Sub: Salvage

From Bowles' autobiography "Stan The Man"
"I was 23 years old when I joined Queens Park Rangers in September 1972, for a then club record fee of 112,000 pounds...
"Rodney had made the No. 10 shirt his own, and, since he moved, no one wanted to tough the thing....The shirt thing didn't seem a big deal to me. I hadn't really heard of Rodney Marsh. So I just shrugged and said: "If no one wants it, I'll wear it."...
"...[A]s luck would have it, I scored one and made another for Don Givens in my first game - against Nottingham Forest on September 16th, 1972. We won 3-0, and the fans seemed to take to my style of play; which, to them, was a bit like Rodney's"(Stan The Man, page 33)

- Seven Years later, Bowles finally left QPR - ironically for Nottingham Forest (by then managed by Brian Clough).

25 October 2007 - Bowle-r hat: Stan Bowles’s England cap is going under the hammer
THE first England cap won by one of Carlisle United’s most colourful and talented players is expected to fetch up to £6,000 when it is auctioned next week.
The light green velvet cap was awarded to Stan Bowles when he made his debut for England against Portugal in Lisbon on April 3, 1974, not long after leaving Brunton Park. It will be auctioned at Bonhams in Chester next Wednesday.
The signing of Stan Bowles, from Crewe for £14,000 in October 1971, was one of the best bits of business in Carlisle United’s history.
For less than a year later,in September 1972, Carlisle sold him to Queens Park Rangers for £112,000.
Carlisle needed someone who could score goals after selling prolific striker Bob Hatton – 38 goals in 93 league appearances – to Birmingham for £90,000. So manager Ian Macfarlane swiftly moved for Bowles, who made his debut for Carlisle, alongside John Gorman,Stan Ternent and Chris Balderstone, in the 2-1 win against Oxford United at Brunton Park on October 30, 1971.
He went on to become Carlisle’s joint top scorer that season.
At QPR, Bowles scored 71 goals in 255 league appearances and became a legend. In 2004, QPR fans affectionately voted him the club’s greatest ever player.
It was at Manchester City that Bowles started gambling and it was an addiction that nearly wrecked his promising football career before it really started.
Bowles admitted: “I’ve never tried to stop the gambling.It’s part of me and has been pretty much all of my adult life.I was an apprentice at City earning £7 a week,but I’d run the bets across the town for a Manchester gang, from pub to pub, when it was illegal to do that. I was earning more doing that than I was from football.That’s how I got myself into trouble at City, because I wasn’t turning up for training.”
One of the final straws was when he failed to turn up at Manchester airport to join City team-mates as they set off for a friendly against Ajax in Holland. He claimed later that he had over-slept.
Years later he admitted : “I had everything going for me and tossed it out of the window.”
He became a friend of George Best, who starred for City’s arch rivals, Manchester United. Bowles said : “I used to enjoy a drink with George Best.
“He was telling me one day about the statue of him they had put in Belfast. I told him there was one of me outside Ladbrokes.”
During his career Bowles frequently clashed with authority and fell out with several managers, including Malcolm Allison, Brian Clough and Tommy Docherty.
Stan Bowles won five England caps, but his fans think he should have won more.
Next year he will celebrate his 60th birthday. News and Star

Bowles and Current QPR Officials Still Close?
Bowles did have a very strong relationship with QPR. However the last public reference to Bowles was in September when this article appeared in The People
- Sunday People/Peter Ward - 28 September 2008 - TIGHT Rs BLASTED

- QPR legend Stan Bowles has branded the club's billionaire owners skinflints after being sidelined from his hospitality role.
"Billionaires? They're tighter than a coat of paint," said Bowles, 59, once voted Loftus Road's greatest ever player.
- Rangers are owned by Formula One big wheels Bernie Ecclestone and Flavio Briatore, and Indian steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal.
- Bowles said: "On the last day of last season Iwas asked on the pitch to draw a raffle. Then I was told there was no budget left to pay me.
"This season I was asked to unveil the new mascot, which was a man dressed up as a furry aeroplane - I suspect he was on more money than I was.
"I was handed £100 which didn't even cover my train fare"
He was due to act as a club ambassador again - but says the club have never got back to him. Sunday People

See Also:


Bowles Record II

Bowles England Profile

See: Dave's Queens Park Rangers - Bowles
See Bowles QPR Cult Hero BBC-Bowles

Bowles Book Reviewed - WSC - Bowles

Bowles -Wikipedia

Profiled as an ex-Crewe Player - Bowles

RIAN VINER INTERVIEWS - Stan Bowles: 'Clough, Brooking, Eriksson Brian Viner, The Independent, October 13, 2005


Stan Bowles rightly receives much attention as the QPR hero born on Christmas Eve. But there is another great QPR hero also born on that day: Brian Bedford. Bedford Turns 75 today: Born December 24, 1933.
In 250+ league games for QPR, between 1959 and 1965 (all in the old Third Division) with Alec Stock as manager, Bedford scored 160+ goals. Joined QPR from Bournemouth in 1959. Went to Scunthorpe in September 1965 (Six months before Rodney Marsh arrived at Loftus Road)
1959-60 25 goals
1960-61 33 goals
1961-62 34 goals
1962-63 23 goals
1963-64 23 goals
1964-65 23 goals
1965-66 1 goal

QPR Official Site - BLAST FROM THE PAST - Brian Bedford

In our latest instalment of exclusive past player interviews on www.qpr.co.uk, former R's front-man Brian Bedford comes under the spotlight.

Brian Bedford (1959-1965)

Dexter Blackstock had a fantastic campaign for Queens Park Rangers in 2006/07, notching 14 goals; and Patrick Agyemang has made an immediate goalscoring impact since his January transfer from Preston North End.

But what would be the modern day value of a striker who was guaranteed to score a minimum of 25 goals for the R's every year? One such player from the past was Brian Bedford.

In his six full seasons at Loftus Road, Bedford scored a grand total of 180 goals. His lowest tally was 25 in 1963/64. His highest was a staggering 39 in 1961/62, thereby equalling George Goddard's record from 1929/30 for the all-time QPR record of League and Cup goals scored by one player in a season.

Bedford was born in Wales and joined Rangers from Bournemouth & Boscombe Athletic in July 1959. He remembers the transfer with some amusement.

"When I signed for QPR, Alec Stock had just been named as the new Manager," said Bedford.

"I travelled up to West London to be interviewed by the Club and Alec said 'You'll score 30 goals a year for me son!' Just like that! So I said 'You're joking?' as my record down at Bournemouth was something like 32 goals over three years. But Alec said 'Yes you will!' And he wasn't far wrong, was he?"

Stock's all-out attacking policy was really beneficial for the strikers at Rangers and Bedford was happy to rattle home goals by the truckload.

"Alec played a big part in my goalscoring. We used to play with those old fashioned players called wingers. We always seemed to get good wide men at the Club like Mark Lazarus who could provide excellent crosses. So I was the benefactor of that.

"Then we would have one inside-forward who dropped deep. I was the inside-right and I would play up front alongside the centre-forward.

"Bernie Evans was my strike partner in my first few years at Rangers. He was a big, strong boy who was pretty useful in the air. So it was just sort of...BANG...flick on...run on...BANG...GOAL...and that's it! Very simple stuff.

"I was a very direct and hard-running player. I could hit the ball with both feet and I was good with my headers.

"I've still got the pen, plaque and two trophies that the QPR Supporters' Club presented me with for my goals in the 1961/62 season. I got six hat-tricks that year, including four in a game against Southend United.

"I recall that the top wage in the Third Division - which Rangers were in at the time - was about £35 to £40 a week. Ridiculous really! But it was still much better than the average working man's salary. Not only that, as far as I was concerned I was getting paid for something I loved doing. That was a big thing for me.

"There was certainly much more emphasis on attacking football in those days than there is today. A lot of teams nowadays play with just one lone striker, which I think is ludicrous. I call it 'dinosaur football.'

"When I see one man up front on his own, I feel so sorry for him, because he is on a hiding to nothing and it is not good entertainment for the fans."

After his great goalscoring adventures, Bedford eventually left Rangers to sign for Scunthorpe United in September 1965. It was a time of great change at Loftus Road.

"Jim Gregory was appointed as Chairman of QPR and he started pouring some money in with new players being signed. Unfortunately, I was just starting to go a little bit over the hill as far as age was concerned. I was nearly 32 years old then. The Club had to offload some of the playing staff and I was one of them, I'm afraid.

"I had six very happy seasons at Rangers. Then they transferred me to that Godforsaken place called Scunthorpe! I don't think Alec Stock wanted me to sign for any other London team or any nearby club in case I embarrassed him.

"It was very sad. I didn't like leaving Loftus Road. But you have to move on don't you? That's life."

Following spells with Scunthorpe United and then Brentford, Brian Bedford's football career started to wind down - but he continued to work in the sporting environment after hanging up his boots.

"In 1967, I went over to America to sign for a soccer team called Atlanta Chiefs. While I was out there, I started playing tennis. We had outdoor courts that were floodlit so we used to play well into the evening.

"I became a little bit addicted as I knew my time in football was more-or-less over. So when I returned to the United Kingdom, I became a professional tennis coach. I did it until my knees gave out and so I retired from that.

"Then I returned to QPR as Stadium Manager in the late 1980's for five years. It was a bit archaic compared to what they have at the Club now. There was only me running the whole ground to begin with, although eventually I managed to get a plumber to help out as the place was falling apart!

"I can remember one year when we had a very severe frost. Rangers were due to play Southampton on the Saturday and there were problems everywhere around the stadium. Most of the toilets were leaking and the overhead pipes were burst. So we stayed until four o'clock in the morning before the game repairing everything! We didn't get much money for it, but there you are."

Brian Bedford is now 73 and lives just outside Cardiff. He keeps himself busy on the local golf courses and continues to watch out for all of the R's results.

"I'm a golfing fanatic! But unfortunately, I'm having a lot of trouble with my legs at the moment so I am going to have to buy myself a buggy.

"It is hardly surprising when you consider the amount of strain I have put on my body over the years. One doctor said to me 'This is pay-back time!' It is poor circulation I think.

"I still follow football and the first score I always look for is QPR. I wish the Club well, I really do. They were really good times for me at Loftus Road - the best days of my life actually." QPR

- See Also Dave's QPR Site - Brian Bedford

- QPR Net Interview with Brian Bedford - QPR Net/Bedford

- See Wikipedia - Bedford

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