Handsworth, Birmingham born inside left and centre half Sid Bowser began his career playing schoolboy football in Birmingham, and played with local clubs Astbury Richmond in 1906 and Willenhall in 1907, when he had a trial with Birmingham. But it was Second Division rivals West Bromwich Albion that signed Bowser as an inside left in August 1908 with his Football League debut coming against Grimsby Town in January 1909 aged 17, scoring twice in a 7-2 victory, becoming Albion’s youngest ever League marksman, a record not overhauled until Geoff Richards scored in December 1946.
He won the Second Division Championship with Albion in 1909-10, scoring 24 goals for The Baggies during the campaign, staying an ever present and finishing as the club’s leading goalscorer, and he played in the 1912 FA Cup Final, which they lost to Barnsley in a replay at Bramall Lane after a drawn match at The Crystal Palace. He made 141 appearances, scoring 51 goals, before falling out with the club and he signed for top Irish side Belfast Distillery in June 1913, but eight months later he re-signed for West Brom on 6th February 1914, not before he had represented The Irish League in a 2-0 defeat to The Football League at The Solitude, Belfast in October 1913, thereafter mostly appearing at centre half for The Baggies.
He played both sides of the First World War for The Baggies, during which he guested for Stoke in 1918-19, making ten appearances scoring five goals, and he made a further 229 appearances for Albion, scoring 21 more goals, including missing only one match as they won the League Championship in 1919-20, including netting a hat-trick including two penalties in a 4-1 home victory over Bradford City in September 1919 in a season when he scored 10 goals, 8 from the penalty spot. He won a single cap for England that season against Ireland in a 1-1 draw at Windsor Park in October 1919, and and was an ever present during Albion’s 1922-23 campaign. He later joined Walsall in August 1924, in a move that cost the club a £1,000 transfer fee. He retired in 1927, after 28 appearances for The Saddlers.
NB this photograph shows Bowser leading out West Bromwich Albion, with Joe Smith immediately behind him, followed by Fred Morris, and immediately behind and somewhat obscured by Fred Morris is Albion’s goalkeeper Hubert Pearson.