Stan Bowles Benefit Match: Queens Park Rangers boss Ian Holloway pays tribute to iconic winger
PUBLISHED: 12:52 30 July 2017 | UPDATED: 13:01 30 July 2017
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QPR honoured one of their greatest ever players in clash with Bournemouth
Queens Park Rangers boss Ian Holloway paid tribute to the legendary Stan Bowles after his benefit match ended in a 1-0 defeat at home to Premier League outfit Bournemouth.
Jordon Ibe’s goal gave the Cherries the win at Loftus Road in the Rs’ final pre-season game before starting the new Championship term at home to Reading on Saturday.
But the result was inconsequential, with QPR fans taking the opportunity to see Bowles, who has Alzheimer’s, for possibly the last time.
And Holloway was pleased the legendary Rs winger got the reception he deserved from an adoring crowd in west London.
“For me, Stan epitomises what we (QPR) are all about,” said the 54-year-old Holloway.
“As a person, the smile on his face and waving to the fans – I used to call them ‘Big Time Charlies’, but he was a ‘Big Time Stan’.
“How massive is he? My heart goes out to the fight he’s got and his family.”
QPR nearly scored a late equaliser, but saw substitute Yeni Ngbakoto’s free-kick hit the post and the back of Aaron Ramsdale before the Bournemouth stopper collected the ball.
That was the closest the Rs came to scoring, though the Championship side did created a hatful of chances.
But Holloway admits he was gutted his team were unable to find the net and give the watching Bowles a goal to celebrated.
“I’m so proud, but I wish we scored for him and we nearly did at the end,” he added.
“I wish we passed them off the park, and us look brilliant and glittering, but we can’t do that, we’re not there yet.
“They’re Premier League and they’re having a go, and at times they moved it and we just hung in there.
There was also a poignant moment 10 minutes into the game when the crowd got to their feet to applaud Bowles, who were the number 10 shirt, which Holloway admits got him emotional.
“That’s what it means to me and our fans and I’ve got a tear in my eye because they started clapping after 10 minutes.
“The gesture the club has made speaks volumes for me in retiring the number 10 shirt for the season.”
Over 9,000 fans were present at Loftus Road to pay tribute to Bowles, chanting the QPR icon’s name throughout.