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Mark Bowen

Mark Bowen
Norwich Career: 1987-1996 (399 appearances 27 goals)
Current Club: Stoke City (Assistant Manager)
Date of Birth: 07/12/1963
Nationality: Welsh

Biography

Welsh international Mark Bowen was with Norwich City for nine years from July 1987 until the summer of 1996. Originally with Tottenham Hotspur, Mark had a trial with a number of clubs as a youngster including Manchester United.

This attacking left back joined Norwich for £90,000. As a virtual ever present for 9 seasons his vital interceptions and clearances allied to his attacking ambitions, he was called Mr Versatile by his boss Martin O'Neill. He played in both full back positions, sweeper, up-front and all positions across midfield for club and country. He even played in goal when Bryan Gunn was sent off at Coventry, saving a Penalty!!

He should ensure his lasting place in Norwich City Hall of Fame for his glorious WINNING goal in Norwich's greatest night of cup football. October 1993 in Munich, that goal makes Norwich still the only British club side to beat Bayern Munich in Munich in any European Match.

Also Mark is the only Norwich player to have represented the Premier League against the Italian League. He also still holds the record number of International caps won as a Norwich city player (35 caps for Wales).Whilst with Norwich, Mark became a regular in the Welsh international team that nearly qualified for the 1994 World Cup were it not for a missed penalty from fellow defender Paul Bodin. He has also played at right back and as sweeper.

Criticism of Gary Megson's tactics saw Mark dropped from the first team when he was one game short of 400 appearances for the Canaries. Norwich's financial problems in 1996 saw them release many stars on free transfers. Despite interest from Leeds and Coventry, Mark joined West Ham and was a first team regular. In March 1997, Mark joined Japanese side Shimizu Pulse, managed by Ossie Ardiles, for the reported sum of £1million and scored on his debut against Brummel Sendai on March 22nd.

He returned to England in September 1997 joining Charlton Athletic. He made his debut for the Addicks as substitute in their 4-0 thrashing of Norwich at Carrow Road on September 17th 1997. His presence and experience helped Charlton to the Play-offs where he converted one of the penalties in their victory over Sunderland that took Charlton into the Premiership for the first time.

After the 1998/99 season was ravaged by injuries, Mark was released by the Addicks in May 1999 after their relegation to Division One. The Evening Standard speculated that Mark would stay in London and join Fulham, newly promoted to Division One. Mark initally joined Bristol City on trial on the 20th July 1999 playing in at least one pre-season friendly. The Sun then reported on 27th July that Mark was on trial with Oxford United. Mark later joined Wigan Athletic on a month-to-month contract in August 1999 and made his debut on the opening day on the 1999/2000 season against Scunthorpe.

Mark joined Reading on a non-contract basis on 6th December 1999. Fellow Canaries at Reading included Scott Howie, John Polston and Peter Grant. However his stay was not long. Teamtalk reported that Reading manager "Alan Pardew has decided to end his interest in signing experienced defender Mark Bowen, who was at the club on a non-contract deal. The Royals boss decided against awarding him a long-term contract after a week of intense speculation over Bowen's position with the club. He arrived at the Madejski Stadium at the beginning of the week, initially on a non-contract basis to see how things went. But Bowen was a little unhappy with those terms because he wanted to negotiate something with a bit more security like an extended loan deal." Thus Mark made only appearance for Reading, that being the cup victory over Leyton Orient.

Before Mark joined Reading, new Welsh national team coach Mark Hughes had given him responsibility for the Welsh Under 21 team. Mark was promoted to Assistant Manager for the Welsh national team before joining Steve Bruce in a similar role at Crystal Palace in June 2001. Mark followed Bruce to Birmingham City (again as Assistant Manager) in December 2001 where they led the Blues to promotion to the Premiership via a Play-Off final victory over the Canaries. Birmingham's presence in the top flight and the struggles involved with that led to a club vs country row at the end of August 2002 when Bruce suggested that Mark retires from his position with the Welsh Under-21 squad. Eventually Mark stepped down from his role with Wales. Bowen and Birmingham parted company towards the end of June 2004 due to a contraual dispute.

When Mark Hughes took over as manager of Blackburn Rovers, he re-established his link with Bowen appointing him as Assistant Manager.

On 19th September 2006, Bowen was linked by the Daily Mail to the managerial vacancy at West Bromwich Albion following Bryan Robson's departure. He was also linked the following month with the vacancy at Carrow Road following Nigel Worthington's sacking.

In February 2007, Bowen was linked with the managerial vacancy at Swansea City, following Kenny Jackett's departure, along with Jan Molby, Nigel Worthington, Joe Royle, Phil Parkinson, Kevin Blackwell and Dean Saunders.

In October 2007, Bowen was linked with the vacant Norwich City manager's position following the departure of Peter Grant

In June 2008, Bowen followed Blackburn manager Mark Hughes to Manchester City, joining the backroom team at Eastlands.

Bowen left Man City in mid-December 2009 after Hughes was sacked and replaced by Roberto Mancini

At the end of July 2010, Hughes and Bowen were appointed as the management team at Fulham, replacing Roy Hodgson who had joined Liverpool

When Hughes quit in June 2011, Bowen stayed at Fulham taking a new role coaching the Academy

When Hughes took charge at Fulham on 10th January 2012, replacing Neil Warnock, he brought in his trusted management team including Bowen as Assistant Manager, Eddie Niedzwiecki and Kevin Hitchcock. Hughes was sacked as QPR manager on 23rd November 2012 wuth the club sitting at the bottom of the Premiership having taken just 5 points from 13 games. Bowen was caretaker manager for the clash at Old Trafford on 24th November which QPR lost 3-1. He was then sacked from QPR when Harry Redknapp was appointed manager and brought in Kevin Bond as Assistant Manager on 1st December 2012.

When Hughes was appointed manager of Stoke City on 30th May 2013, replacing Tony Pulis, he brought his backroom team of Bowen, Eddie Niedzwiecki and Kevin Hitchcock with him.


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