Stan Bowles, QPR's maverick icon, has died: he was nicknamed the 'Messi of the 70s'

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Stan Bowles, QPR's maverick icon, has died: he was nicknamed the 'Messi of the 70s'

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Queens Park Rangers legend Stan Bowles has died aged 75. He is considered one of the most talented players of his generation and has been compared to Lionel Messi in England.

Bowles played 560 games in English football, with five caps for his country, but was one of the greatest mavericks in English football. Before writing his name into the QPR history books, Bowles began his career at Manchester City, before joining Bury and then Carlisle.

In 1972 he arrived at QPR, a team with which he made 315 league appearances and scored 97 goals in seven seasons: in 1975-76 he was part of the team that came close to the title: the Hoops were first until three days from the end, when defeat came 3-2 with Norwich and the Reds overtaking, who will keep the gap unchanged until the end, thus beginning Bob Paisley's epic.

This is the note from his former club: “It is with a heavy heart that we learned of the passing of QPR icon Stan Bowles this evening (Saturday), aged 75. All our thoughts are with his family and his friends at this incredibly difficult time. May he rest in peace. The club will confirm how we pay tribute to Stan in due course.”

Bowles was considered one of England's brightest talents and after QPR he moved to Brian Clough's Nottingham Forest. After a promising start, with the victory of his only international title (the European Super Cup) came a dispute with Clough: the coach denied him permission to participate in John Robertson's farewell match and he was excluded from the European Cup final .

One year he left and joined Leyton Orient but Bowles ended his playing career with Brentford.

His 1996 autobiography revealed to the general public his excesses with alcohol, his 'womanising' and his gambling problem. In 2015 he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's, which gradually took away all his life memories.

Bowles returned to Manchester to be cared for by his eldest daughter, Andria, and in 2017 QPR hosted a charity match in his honor to raise money for his treatment.

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