Since his debut in 1996, he has carved a reputation as one of the Tigers' favourite sons. He was drafted at the end of 1995 under a father-son selection, and is the son of former Richmond 1969 premiership player Michael Bowden. Bowden plays as a Backman but can also be a play as a key Forward
In 2006, Bowden was among the leading possession getters in the AFL, and had the most possessions shared between any two players with his brother Patrick. He currently owns and manages a coffeeshop, named Birdie Num Num's, with his brother Patrick Bowden in the suburb of North Carlton.
In Round 16, 2008, Bowden was at the centre of a major controversy regarding rushed behinds. With Richmond up by 6 points against Essendon with less than a minute left, Bowden proceeded to wipe the remaining time off the clock by rushing 2 behinds from the kick out - tactics which caused an uproar with many calling for the current rules to be changed. Football journalist Mike Sheahan even likened it to the infamous Trevor Chappell underarm delivery. He played his last game against the Collingwood Football Club, who thrashed the Tigers by 93 points.