Ex-Hammer lands first managerial role [video]

  • by Staff Writer
  • Monday, 14th October 2019

Another former Hammer has joined the long list of Football League managerial recruits.

Former Welsh international Mark Bowen, who represented West Ham during the 1996/97 Premiership campaign was today named as the new manager of Championship side Reading.

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However the 55-year-old's appointment at the Madejski Stadium - in which he was partially involved as the club's existing Sporting Director - hasn't exactly been universally welcomed by Royals fans, whose team are currently languishing in 22nd spot in the second tier.

Bowen has spent the vast majority of his career since ending an 18-year spell as a player back in 1999 as an assistant manager, having held the position at no less than eight clubs.

And today's announcement sees the Neath-born coach embark on his first full-time managerial role, much to the discontent of the vast majority of Reading supporters posting on social media since his appointment was revealed as replies to the following tweet attest.

Bowen joined West Ham in the summer of 1996 after leaving former club Norwich City on a free transfer. He made his debut in a 1-1 draw against Coventry and went on to make 20 appearances for Harry Redknapp's side, scoring just one goal.

His stay at the Boleyn Ground was a short one however and less than six months after making his Hammers debut, Bowen was on his way to Japan in order to join Shimizu S-Pulse - having been released on a free transfer by Redknapp.

Bowen scored his only Hammers goal in a 2-0 win at Nottingham Forest in September 1996

He returned to England later in 1997 to join Charlton where he spent two seasons before signing for Wigan. After just seven appearances for the Latics, Bowen signed for Reading where he ended his playing career.

His only previous experience of management came during a brief spell with Crystal Palace's reserves in 2001 and as caretaker at Queens Park Rangers in 2012.

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