Stanley Bowles (born 24 December 1948 in Collyhurst, Manchester, Lancashire) is a former leading English footballer who gained a reputation as one of the game's greatest mavericks. He is a cousin of Paul Bowles.
Bowles began his career as an apprentice at Manchester City, although his fiery temper resulted in him falling out with coach Malcolm Allison and being released after a series of off-field incidents. After a brief and unsuccessful stay at Bury, he was signed by Ernie Tagg, manager of Crewe Alexandra, then in the Fourth Division, where his skill caught the eye of a number of bigger clubs. In October 1971 he was signed by Carlisle United, at the time a Second Division club, scoring 13 goals in 36 appearances for the Cumbrians. After a managerial change at the club, he was sold to Queens Park Rangers (QPR) for £112,000 in September 1972.
He replaced in the team a previous QPR folk-hero, Rodney Marsh, who had been transferred to Bowles' first club Manchester City only six months before. Bowles took over Marsh's number 10 shirt, which other players had been reluctant to wear in fear of being compared unfavourably to the mercurial Marsh. Bowles had no such qualms about taking the shirt, joking that, coming from the North, he had never really heard of Marsh.