Mark Bowen (footballer)

Mark Bowen
Personal information
Full name Mark Rosslyn Bowen
Date of birth (1963-12-07) 7 December 1963
Place of birth Neath, Wales
Height 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
Playing position Left back
Youth career
1980–1981 Tottenham Hotspur
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1981–1987 Tottenham Hotspur 17 (2)
1987–1996 Norwich City 321 (24)
1996–1997 West Ham United 17 (1)
1997 Shimizu S-Pulse 7 (3)
1997–1999 Charlton Athletic 42 (0)
1999 Wigan Athletic 7 (0)
1999 Reading 0 (0)
Total 411 (30)
National team
1982–1983 Wales U21 3 (0)
1986–1997 Wales 41 (3)
Teams managed
2012 Queens Park Rangers (caretaker manager)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only

Mark Rosslyn Bowen (born 7 December 1963) is a Welsh former professional footballer. He is currently assistant manager at Southampton.

He was a left-back who played for Tottenham Hotspur, Norwich City, West Ham United, Shimizu S-Pulse, Charlton Athletic, Wigan Athletic and Reading. He also played international football for Wales. Since retiring in 1999, he has worked as assistant to former international teammate Mark Hughes with Wales, Blackburn Rovers, Manchester City, Fulham, Queens Park Rangers, Stoke City and Southampton.

Playing career

Early career and Norwich City

Bowen joined Tottenham Hotspur as an apprentice in 1980, signing his first professional contract in December 1981. First-team opportunities were limited for him at White Hart Lane and he made only a handful of appearances for the club though he was an unused substitute in the 1984 UEFA Cup Final 2nd leg. In the summer of 1987, Norwich City manager Ken Brown paid Spurs £90,000 for Bowen, who was one of a number of players that Norwich signed from Tottenham during that period. He made his debut for the Canaries on 19 August 1987 in a league match against Southampton at Carrow Road. Mark Bowen scored his first goal for Norwich City against West Ham United on New Year's Day 1988 in a 4-1 win at home in the first division.[1]

Bowen spent much of his first season at Norwich playing on the left of midfield, but when Tony Spearing left the club to join Leicester City in July 1988, Bowen made the left-back spot his own for the next eight years. As well as carrying out his defensive duties in a consistent and dependable manner, Bowen was a threat going forward and in the 1989–90 season he finished as the team's joint-top league goalscorer. That season, he also collected the Barry Butler memorial trophy when the supporters voted him Norwich City player of the year.

On 8 April 1989, Bowen was involved in an unusual incident in a match against Coventry City at Highfield Road. Goalkeeper Bryan Gunn was sent off for arguing incessantly with the referee after he had awarded Coventry a penalty kick. Bowen went in goal to replace him, only for Coventry's specialist penalty taker Brian Kilcline to miss the spot-kick by putting it wide. Coventry won 2–1.

Bowen was a key member of the Norwich team that finished third in the inaugural season of the FA Premier League (1992–93) and qualified for the UEFA Cup as a result. In the second round of the UEFA Cup run, Bowen scored one of the most famous goals in Norwich City's history when his header put Norwich 2–0 up in the away leg against FC Bayern Munich. Norwich won the match 2–1 and remained as the only British club to beat FC Bayern at their own stadium until Chelsea defeated Bayern at the Allianz Arena in the 2012 UEFA Champions League Final. Arsenal later did the same, though they lost their tie on aggregate following defeat at home.

At the end of the 1994–95 season, Norwich were relegated from the Premiership. The season that followed was one of the worst in the club's history and it was Bowen's last at Carrow Road. The club was in a desperate financial position and came close to going out of business. Gary Megson replaced Martin O'Neill as manager halfway through the season and he and Bowen did not enjoy a good relationship. Bowen criticised Megson's tactics in the local newspaper and was dropped from the team by Megson when he had played 399 matches for the club. He was not given the opportunity for a 400th. At the end of the season, as the club began trying to pick up the pieces after chairman Robert Chase had left the club close to bankruptcy, Bowen was one of the players released in order to reduce the club's outgoings.

Bowen was highly regarded by the Canaries' fans. For example, in 2002, in a survey to mark the club's centenary, Norwich fans voted Bowen the club's best ever left-back and put him in the club's 'all-time XI'. He is also a member of the Norwich City F.C. Hall of Fame. He won 35 Welsh caps while at Norwich, meaning that he holds the record for being the club's most capped player. He was nicknamed 'Taff' because of his Welsh connections and also 'Albert Tatlock' because of his frequent complaining.

Late career

After leaving Carrow Road, Bowen signed on a free transfer for West Ham United making his debut appearance on 21 August 1996 in a 1–1 home draw against Coventry City. He made 20 appearances for The Hammers in all competitions scoring only one goal in a 2–0 away win against Nottingham Forest on 21 September 1996.[2] In January 1997 he signed for Shimizu S-Pulse in Japan, again on a free transfer, before signing for Charlton Athletic shortly after the start of the 1997–98 season. He was a member of the Addicks side that won promotion to the Premiership at the end of that season after a memorable play-off final against Sunderland at Wembley ended 4–4. Charlton won the penalty shoot-out, with Bowen scoring one of the spot-kicks. For a while during his time at Norwich Bowen had been the team's penalty taker but had enjoyed little success. He scored just twice from the spot for Norwich, against Notts County and Queens Park Rangers respectively.

That 1998 play-off final proved to be the last high-point of Bowen's playing career. He left Charlton a year later having suffered a serious injury and after trials with Bristol City and Oxford United he played briefly for Wigan Athletic and Reading.

Coaching and management

Bowen began his coaching career while at Reading as Mark Hughes made him a member of his coaching staff for the Welsh national side. He then linked up with former Norwich teammate Steve Bruce when he was manager first at Crystal Palace, then at Birmingham City. In 2002, under Bruce and Bowen's stewardship, Birmingham won promotion to the Premier League via the play-offs. They won the final against Norwich City in a penalty shoot-out after the match had ended 1–1. Bowen remained at Birmingham for two more years before leaving in the summer of 2004.[3] Shortly afterwards in August 2004 Bowen returned to the Wales national team set-up.[4][5] However the move caused some controversy as Hughes appointed Bowen without the knowledge of the Football Association of Wales.[6]

On 16 September 2004 Hughes was appointed manager at Blackburn Rovers and Bowen joined him as assistant manager.[7][8] Whilst at Blackburn, Bowen was linked with the managerial vacancy at both Norwich City and Swansea City.[9][10] In June 2008 Bowen followed Hughes to Manchester City as assistant manager, and left the club with him in December 2009.[11][12] Whilst at Manchester City the club was taken over by the wealthy Abu Dhabi United Group.[13]

In August 2010 he again followed Hughes, to become his assistant at Fulham.[14] Following Hughes departure in June 2011, Bowen remained with Fulham but removed from assistant manager duties and began to work with the Academy.[15] Bowen worked with Hughes at Queens Park Rangers for a year until Hughes was sacked in November 2012.[16] Bowen and coach Eddie Niedzwiecki took caretaker charge of QPR for one match against Manchester United in a 3–1 defeat.[17]

Bowen then joined Hughes at Stoke City in June 2013.[18] He remained at Stoke until January 2018.[19]

After Hughes was appointed Southampton manager in March 2018, Bowen followed him to St. Mary's, initially on a contract for the remainder of the 2017–18 season. In May 2018, after Southampton's Premier League status was confirmed, it was announced that Bowen had signed a new long-term contract.[20]

Career statistics

Club career

Club Season League FA Cup League Cup Other[A] Total
Tottenham Hotspur 1983–84 First Division 7030000090
1984–85 First Division 6000000060
1985–86 First Division 2100001030
1986–87 First Division 2100000021
Total 172300010212
Norwich City 1987–88 First Division 241203120312
1988–89 First Division 352603010452
1989–90 First Division 387403020477
1990–91 First Division 371402050481
1991–92 First Division 363415010464
1992–93 Premier League 421203000471
1993–94 Premier League 415204061536
1994–95 Premier League 362305000442
1995–96 First Division 312106000382
Total 3202428134117139927
West Ham United 1996–97 Premier League 171003000201
Total 171003000201
Shimizu S-Pulse 1997 J.League 7300000073
Total 7300000073
Charlton Athletic 1997–98 First Division 360300030420
1998–99 Premier League 6000000060
Total 420300030480
Wigan Athletic 1999–2000 Second Division 70003000100
Total 70003000100
Reading 1999–2000 Second Division 0000001010
Total 0000001010
Career Total 4103034140122150633

A. ^ The "Other" column constitutes appearances and goals in the Football League Trophy, Football League play-offs and Full Members Cup, Screen Sport Super Cup and UEFA Cup.

International career

Bowen made his senior debut for Wales on 10 May 1986, aged 22, in a 2-0 friendly defeat to Canada in North America. His final Wales appearance came 11 years later on 11 February 1997 in a goalless friendly draw with the Republic of Ireland at Cardiff Arms Park. He had been capped 41 times as a full international for Wales, scoring three goals.[21][22]

Wales national team

Managerial statistics

As of 24 November 2012
Team From To Record
G W D L Win %
Queens Park Rangers 23 November 2012 24 November 2012 1 0 0 1 000.00
Total 1 0 0 1 000.00


Tottenham Hotspur

Norwich City

Charlton Athletic


  1. Freezer, David. "Norwich City top 100 appearances – Mark Bowen (9): The left-back who scored that famed 'fantasy football' goal against Bayern Munich". Pink Un - Norwich City Football Club News. Retrieved 2017-06-29.
  2. "Welcome to the Wonderful World of West Ham United Statistics Mark Bowen". 7 December 1963. Retrieved 5 August 2010.
  3. "Coach Bowen quits Blues". BBC Sport. 23 June 2004. Retrieved 20 June 2013.
  4. "Bowen eyes Wales return". BBC Sport. 14 July 2004. Retrieved 20 June 2013.
  5. "Bowen back with Wales". BBC Sport. 3 August 2004. Retrieved 20 June 2013.
  6. "Hughes delivers snub to FAW". BBC Sport. 5 August 2004. Retrieved 20 June 2013.
  7. "Blackburn appoint Hughes". BBC Sport. 16 September 2004. Retrieved 20 June 2013.
  8. "Hughes happy to grab chance". BBC Sport. 16 September 2004. Retrieved 20 June 2013.
  9. "Worthington proud of Norwich era". BBC Sport. 2 October 2006. Retrieved 20 June 2013.
  10. "Swansea part company with Jackett". BBC Sport. 15 February 2007. Retrieved 20 June 2013.
  11. "Bowen recalls Man City sacking". BBC Sport. 23 April 2010. Retrieved 20 June 2013.
  12. "BBC Sport – Football – Mark Hughes sacked as Man City appoint Mancini manager". BBC News. 19 December 2009. Retrieved 5 August 2010.
  13. "Man City 'will upset Euro elite'". BBC Sport. 3 September 2008. Retrieved 20 June 2013.
  14. "Mark Hughes named new manager of Premier League Fulham". BBC Sport. 29 July 2010. Retrieved 20 June 2013.
  15. "Fulham Take Revenge for Mark Hughes Exit". The Sun. UK. Retrieved 5 July 2011.
  16. "Mark Hughes sacked as Queens Park Rangers manager". BBC Sport. 23 November 2012. Retrieved 20 June 2013.
  17. Jurejko, Jonathan (24 November 2012). "Man United 3-1 QPR". BBC Sport. Retrieved 20 June 2013.
  18. "Stoke City assistant manager Mark Bowen relishes Potters challenge". Sky Sports. Retrieved 19 June 2013.
  19. "Niedzwiecki takes training, while Bowen departs". Stoke City. Retrieved 8 January 2018.
  20. "Mark Hughes: Southampton boss signs new three-year contract". BBC Sport. 25 May 2018. Retrieved 28 May 2018.
  21. "Mark Bowen". National Football Teams. Benjamin Strack-Zimmerman.
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