A QPR hero for the seven years of skilful service he provided, Bowles’ love of gambling saw him strike a friendship with Don Shanks when the pair were at Loftus Road together in the 70s.
Their shared passion for London's various racetracks also meant they were usually running low on cash in the lead up to payday.
While waiting for the wages to arrive, the pair usually met in a local cafe to read the newspapers and, over a cup of tea, work out what they'd be betting on next.
And on one occasion it appeared Christmas had come early.
“Don suddenly spluttered on his tea and began wildly jabbing at the paper he was reading,” Bowles explained in his autobiography.
The pair were looking at a photo of Shanks challenging for a high ball during a match against Arsenal, which was being used for a ‘Spot the Ball’ competition.
To enter, applicants simply had to mark the area they thought the missing ball might be - the ball being airbrushed from the picture - and the winner would collect a cash prize. According to Bowles, the figure was in the region of £10,000.
“Don and I had ‘inside information’ on this one and thought we were certainties to scoop the top prize”. He was even discussing how he was going to split the cash with his mate.
“Shanks was completely convinced as to the whereabouts of the missing ball,” though Bowles questioned his memory after studying the photo closely.
“Don laughed and told me not to follow any of the other player’s eyelines, because Don had entered these competitions in the past and the ball never appeared where you thought it would be.”
Not taking anything to chance, though, the pair even canvassed the manager and coaching staff for their opinions and it seemed everyone agreed with Shanks.
“We entered the maximum number of crosses allowed by the rules and smothered them across the area where we thought the ball was. We then entered the competition four times and virtually covered the entire photo in crosses.
“All we had to do now was wait a week, until we were announced the winners.”
So it came as quite a surprise when the original photo appeared the following week and their names were not listed as winners of the ten grand.
“The ball had materialised somewhere behind Don’s left ankle, nowhere near any of the crosses we had marked,” Bowles said.