Jon Bowden

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Jon Bowden
Personal information
Full name Jonathan Lee Bowden[1]
Date of birth (1963-01-21) 21 January 1963 (age 51)[1]
Place of birth Stockport, England[1]
Height 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m)
Playing position Midfielder
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
1981–1985 Oldham Athletic 82 (5)
1985–1987 Port Vale 70 (7)
1987–1991 Wrexham 147 (20)
1991–1995 Rochdale 106 (17)
Total 405 (49)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only.
† Appearances (Goals).

Jonathan Lee "Jon" Bowden (born 21 January 1963) is an English former footballer. A midfielder, he played 405 league games in a 14-year career in the Football League.

He began his career with Oldham Athletic, before he joined Port Vale for £5,000 in September 1985. He helped the "Valiants" to promotion out of the Fourth Division in 1985–86, before he was sold on to Wrexham for £12,500 in April 1987. He played for Wrexham in the Welsh Cup final in 1991, before moving on to Rochdale. He was forced into retirement due to an Achilles injury, and has since become a physiotherapist.

Playing career[edit]

Bowden started his career with Oldham Athletic under the management of Joe Royle. The "Latics" finished 11th in the Second Division in 1981–82, moving up to seventh in 1982–83, before plummeting to 19th in 1983–84, one place but five points clear of relegated Derby County. He left Boundary Park after a 14th place finish in 1984–85

He joined Port Vale for £5,000 in September 1985.[1] He impressed greatly on his debut at number 10 in a 4–1 win at Vale Park on 14 September against Cambridge United, and was described as the 'architect of victory'; despite this great start he dislocated his elbow three minutes before the full-time whistle.[1] After recovering he became a first team regular in the 1985–86 Fourth Division promotion side, scoring three goals in 44 games, playing in a five-man midfield with Oshor Williams, Geoff Hunter, Robbie Earle, and Paul Maguire.[1] Bowden remained a regular in John Rudge's first team plans in the Third Division, scoring four goals in 42 matches in 1986–87. However, he lost his place in April 1987 and three months later was sold to Dixie McNeil's Wrexham for £12,500.[1]

The "Dragons" finished 11th in the Fourth Division in 1987–88, though were just four points shy of the play-offs. Under Brian Flynn's stewardship, Wrexham qualified for the play-offs with a seventh place finish in 1988–89, but were defeated by Leyton Orient 2–1 in the play-off Final. Wrexham plummeted to 21st in 1989–90, eight points but only three places above bottom club Colchester United. They hit rock bottom in 1990–91, Bowden's last season at the Racecourse Ground, but still maintained their Football League status. He appeared in the 1991 Welsh Cup Final at Cardiff Arms Park, which ended in a 2–0 defeat to Swansea City.[2]

Bowden moved on to Rochdale, as the "Dale" finished eighth in 1991–92, one place and two points behind Barnet in the play-offs. They fell to 11th in 1992–93, five points outside the play-offs. Manager Dave Sutton then took Rochdale to a ninth place finish in 1993–94, four points behind Carlisle United in the play-off zone. The Spotland side then dropped to 15th in 1994–95. However Bowden's career was ended following an Achilles injury.[3]


Since leaving the game, Bowden qualified in physiotherapy at the University of Salford, with the help of the PFA.[3] With this qualification he gained employment at Salford Royal Hospital. He also spent three years as Luton Town's physio.[3]


with Port Vale
with Wrexham


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Kent, Jeff (1996). Port Vale Personalities. Witan Books. p. 38. ISBN 0-9529152-0-0. 
  2. ^ "19 May 1991 at the National Stadium, Cardiff". Retrieved 4 March 2012. 
  3. ^ a b c Madden, Lawrie (16 February 2009). "Careers After Football: Jon Bowden". Retrieved 6 September 2009.