Saturday, 6 November 2010
182 Jon Bowden
Position : Midfield (also played at centre half and centre forward)
Played : 1991-92 to 1994-95
Appearances : 106
Goals : 17
Jon was a genuine utility player signed from Wrexham for £10,000 in September. He started with Oldham in the early 80s gradually establishing himself in the side despite some stick from the crowd. After only appearing 15 times in his last season there he moved to Port Vale for £5,000 in September 1985 where he helped them win promotion despite dislocating his elbow in the first match. After two seasons there he moved on to Wrexham for £12,500 where he made 147 appearances and acquired the nickname "Animal" for his wild hair (which had pretty much gone by the time he came here).
I have a confession here. When Jon's name was first read out against Burnley away I booed. I had heard about him from Oldham fans at work who derided him as "the mechanical footballer" so I thought it would make me look sage and knowledgable when he turned out to be a duffer.
In fact Jon proved to be a useful player at our level. Sure he had a slightly laboured playing style and no great vision but he was good in the air, a hard tackler, didn't give the ball away much and weighed in with some goals including a long distance winner at home to York in 1993.
He could also do a decent job at centre half or upfront when needed. Jon was also a character in the dressing room usually the instigator of any pranks going. There was a suspicion that Jon wasn't the most politically correct of players given the number of times black opponents were sent off for hitting him.
In his final season with us Jon was dogged by Achilles trouble and went to the PFA for help with a physiotherapy course. He was thought to be interested in the manager's job when Sutton was sacked but wasn't interviewed. He had to retire at the end of the season and re-joined Oldham as physio. He later moved on to Doncaster and Luton. He is currently working at Hope Hospital in Salford and has qualified as an acupuncturist.