Middlesbrough born right half Jack Bowman began his football career with Shelton Juniors in 1895 and played for Hanley St Judes in 1896 and Burslem Park in 1897 before joining Burslem Port Vale in 1898. His only first team appearance for Burslem Port Vale was in the semi final of the Birmingham Cup against Walsall on 13th March 1899, and he never made a League appearance. In August 1899 he joined local rivals Stoke, then in the First Division, and he made his Football League debut at West Bromwich Albion in March 1900, also playing at Manchester City the following month. Nearly a year later he played twice more for the Stoke first team but left in June 1901 to join Southern League Queen’s Park Rangers.
He stayed four seasons at Loftus Road, scoring twice in 110 appearances, where he also became the club’s secretary in 1903 before becoming player-manager of Norwich City in April 1905, indeed he was their first professional manager. He played in Norwich’s inaugural Southern League match but was injured and had to leave to field, and in total scored once in 8 appearances during the 1905-06 season before his playing retirement, spending a further season as Norwich’s manager before leaving in 1907. His next managerial post came with Southern League Croydon Common in April 1912, where he managed them to win the Southern Football Alliance in 1912-13 and the Second Division of the Southern League in 1913-14.
He also appeared for Croydon Common in 1915-16, while the club’s manager, in a 3-0 defeat at Watford in December 1915, as only 8 players had travelled – Dave Gardner, the club’s trainer, Bowman and assistant trainer Charlie Hollidge made up the numbers! When the club folded in the 1916 close season Bowman left his position. He became a director of Queen’s Park Rangers in the 1920’s and had a spell as their manager between May 1930 and October 1931.