The plight of footballing maverick, Stan Bowles, is a reminder that mental illness can affect any of us, whether you are one of the most iconic sportsmen of a generation, or a plumber from Ealing.
The worrying rise in dementia rates in the U.K. is a real concern, and it is often friends and family who become carers for sufferers when things get tough… in Stan’s case the football community has stood up to help in his moment of need too.
Undoubtedly, Stan (pictured above with Ron Harris at GP) made his name at QPR and the player will always be regarded as the club’s best ever number 10, however, after a successful spell at Griffin Park later in his career where he continued to shine before adoring fans, Bowles was also a regular sight around Brentford for the next thirty-plus years after settling in a house close to the ground.
Stan even came out of retirement to help Brentford during an injury crisis as this clipping from The Big Brentford Book of the Eighties remembers.
Rangers fans have worked tirelessly over the past years to arrange a fund raiser for Bowles so it is hoped this Saturday’s match between QPR and Bournemouth is a big success.
In an ideal world the game would have been between QPR and Brentford, to ensure the biggest crowd possible and to allow two sets of fans to celebrate Stan’s amazing career together, but with the Bees having a home friendly against Celta Vigo on the same day, it’s unlikely too many will be heading over from our part of town.
Virtual tickets have been made available for fans who would like to support Stan, but are unable to make the match at Loftus Road, which includes a copy of the match day programme.
Well done to all those who have made this match happen, and good luck to Stan as his battle continues.