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David Lloyd "Dave" Bowen (June 7, 1928 – September 25, 1995) was a Welsh football player and manager, who captained his country to their only ever World Cup finals, in 1958.

Born in Maesteg, Bowen first played for Northampton Town, before joining Arsenal in the summer of 1950. He made his debut against Wolves on March 24, 1951, but it wasn't until 1954-55 that he was a regular in the Arsenal side, playing as a useful central midfielder.

In the meantime, Bowen had also made his debut for Wales, in a friendly against Yugoslavia in September 1954. Bowen went on to win 18 caps for Wales, and was the team's captain for their 1958 World Cup campaign; Wales drew all three of their group matches and qualified for the quarter-finals, where they were beaten 1-0 by Brazil, the goalscorer being a 17-year-old Pelé. Along with goalkeeper Jack Kelsey, Bowen was the first Arsenal player to play in a World Cup.

Bowen's spell at Arsenal coincided with a lack of success at the club, so he didn't win any domestic honours. However, he did play for a London XI in the 1958 final of the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup (as the UEFA Cup was originally known), losing 8-2 on aggregate to FC Barcelona, and was Arsenal captain in his final two seasons. In all he played 162 matches for the club, scoring twice.

In 1959, Bowen returned to Northampton Town as player-manager. Bowen would manage the Cobblers for eight years, and became known as a canny manager who signed quality players despite a tight budget. He steered Northampton from the Fourth Division to the First in just five seasons. However, the club spent only one season (1965-66) at the top, before being relegated.

Bowen left Northampton in 1967, after a second successive relegation, though he rejoined the club for a second stint as manager between 1969 and 1972, by which time they had returned to the Fourth Division. He presided over the club's famous 8-2 FA Cup defeat at the hands of Manchester United, in which George Best scored six times.

In the meantime, he had also been manager of Wales between 1964 and 1974, although the side never did reach the heights it had when he was a player.

After stepping down as Wales manager, Bowen moved into journalism. He died in 1995, at the age of 67. The north stand of Northampton's Sixfields Stadium is named in his honour.


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