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To Stan, with love 16:28 - Feb 25 with 1143 viewsngbqpr

*To Stan, with love*

Put this on my Facebook, but thought I'd share it here.

Stan Bowles defines QPR.

Have we always played with his carefree swagger? Of course not. But for us fans, it forever remains the aspiration, the dream, the benchmark, however often we fall short.

He wasn’t a local lad. Neither was he a one club man (tho we undoubtedly had his prime years). But he got us, and we got him. After plying his trade in, with the greatest of respect, the footballing outposts of Crewe and Carlisle, in Shepherds Bush he found his tribe and became our Artist in Residence, feeding our football souls.

It was right time, right place. Rodney Marsh had shown us what we could be, he and Alec Stock dared us to dream. Gordon Jago picked up the baton and started to put the final pieces into place (luckily for me, this was just as I hitched a ride with the hooped wagon). Dave Sexton, a point to prove after being jettisoned by the richer lot down the road, would sprinkle on the magic dust that saw little old QPR playing a brand of football never seen before in England. Stan at its apex.

We fell one agonising point short of knocking Liverpool off their perch, and the Stan-inspired, free-scoring UEFA Cup party fell at the quarter final hurdle – on penalties, natch. It’s what we have so often done since (if rarely at such heady heights). And yet Stan remained with us through and beyond relegation a couple of years later. Like us, he stuck with the club despite the alarming decline.

When he did move on, he did so with our love ringing in his ears, all of us wishing him good luck in his quest to “just win a gong.” But Stan and Cloughie? You can see why both parties were tempted by it – but it was never going to work.

I’m not really a believer in football clubs having a DNA that remains ever present through the decades. But they can have narrative threads that reappear with reassuring frequency. For us, it remains the maverick number 10.

For those outside of our W12 cave, it’s Rodney and Stanley, those revered 1970s icons with 1930s names. But for us cave dwellers, it’s also Tony Currie (for a few sweet months, in tandem with Stan), Simon Stainrod, Johnny Byrne, Roy Wegerle, Akos Buzsaky, Adel Taarabt, Eberechi Eze, Ilias Chair. (some of these may on occasion have worn 7 or 8, but that’s not the point). Kevin Gallen didn’t play like a 10, but at a time when the club didn’t employ one, he took the shirt, because as a boyhood fan he understood its significance. Lee Cook, another boyhood fan, was an out and out winger – but as he teased hapless full backs, shirt flopping over his shorts, we saw more shades of Stanley.

Stan’s five measly England caps is just one of many examples of England failing to utilise / understand its many extravagant 70s talents. Stan? He just kept mesmerising defenders, wowing fans, signing two different boot deals at once, and shooting the table on Superstars. Adding technicolour to a monochrome world.

Stan remained a regular visitor to Loftus Road, the twinkle always in his eyes even as Alzheimers took its cruel hold. Never refused a photo request either, as awestruck older fans explained his brilliance and significance to younger pups.

We finally, so belatedly, named a stand after him in 2022. The fans had to pay for the signage. So very QPR. Stan would’ve smirked and shrugged in the same way he did when on the receiving end of banter from opposing fans (who all secretly wished he was playing for their team).

Shine on Stanley Bowles.
[Post edited 27 Feb 9:32]

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To Stan, with love on 18:20 - Feb 25 with 896 viewsT_Block

To Stan, with love on 19:21 - Feb 25 with 797 viewshubble

Nice tribute Nick.

This seems appropriate - with Nick Mason looking not dissimilar to our Stanley...

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To Stan, with love on 22:01 - Feb 25 with 633 viewsDannyPaddox

Fantastic write up of Stan & his innate QPRness.

Nailed it 👏🏼

But Pink Floyd. No and thrice no.

To Stan, with love on 12:47 - Feb 26 with 394 viewsNov77

I absolutely hate the term “our cave”. Holloway coined that to lower expectations down to his level. Who lives in caves? Neanderthals?

Other clubs call their grounds ‘theatre of dreams’ ‘stadium of light’.

Fcking cave, give me strength.

We WERE the original entertainers, let’s never forget that. Best tribute the club could pay to Stanley is to get this club back where it was when he was the shining star of our own west end theatre!

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