Reading Football Club are pleased to announce that Mark Bowen has been officially appointed to the role of Sporting Director with the Royals.
The former Welsh international full-back, who ended a long and impressive playing career with a very short spell at Madejski Stadium in December 1999, spent the end of the 2018-19 campaign helping manager José Gomes, his coaching staff and the players at Hogwood Park in their preparation for a successful end of season run-in that steered us clear of the threat of relegation.
We are delighted that Bowen returns to Reading to adopt a permanent Sporting Director position and will now be responsible for all football operations at the club.
Chief Executive Nigel Howe said, “Mark proved a valuable asset to the first team structure when he joined us at the end of last season and he has been working from within our first team and Academy operations at Hogwood during the last couple of months. Mr Dai, the manager and I will now lend Mark our utmost support as he embarks on this new role at Reading.”
The Neath-born left-back played top flight football for Tottenham Hotspur, Norwich City, West Ham United and Charlton, during a career which also included short spells with Wigan, Reading and Japanese side Shimizu S-Pulse.
Early in his career, he was part of the Spurs squad that won the UEFA Cup against Anderlecht on penalties, but it was at Norwich City that the 41 cap-winning Welsh international truly made his mark.
In total, Bowen totted up more than 500 appearances as a player (399 of which were in a Norwich City shirt) and at Carrow Road he won the Player of the Year accolade in 1990. He also famously scored an away goal against Bayern Munich in the Canaries’ UEFA Cup win over the Bundesliga giants a few years later - having helped City qualify for European competition with a third-placed Premier League finish.
Mark is also remembered by Charlton Athletic fans following a successful spotkick taken in arguably the most dramatic Play-off Final ever to be staged at Wembley; the 1998 showpiece between Alan Curbishley’s Addicks and Peter Reid’s Sunderland side ended 4-4 after extra-time and promotion to the Premier League was decided by sudden death in the shootout, with Bowen scoring to emerge victorious.
Mark’s move into coaching began as his playing days drew to a close at Reading, initially working as a coach with the Welsh national team. On the domestic front, Bowen earned early coaching experience at Crystal Palace and then Birmingham City - winning promotion with the Blues in 2002.
And his coaching career continued to flourish at Blackburn Rovers, Manchester City, Fulham, QPR, Stoke City and Southampton - a coaching CV which spans 17 years competing for Premier League points.
Following a successful consultancy role with the Royals towards the business end of last season, Mark has now been officially appointed as Sporting Director and begins a brand new challenge at Reading.
Croeso i Reading. Pob lwc Mark!