It has been quite a few weeks for Jarrod Bowen – the family man and England international who welcomed twin daughters into the world last month before delivering Europa League Conference success for West Ham.
Described by his first boss as a “manager’s dream”, Bowen’s last-minute winner in a closely-fought final against Fiorentina on Wednesday night provided an unforgettable end to West Ham’s 43-year wait for a major trophy.
The 26-year-old, whose partner is reality TV star Dani Dyer, has a down-to-earth demeanour which has seen him become a firm favourite among team-mates and the club’s supporters since he relocated to London in 2020.
“The best moment of my career” was how Bowen summed up the 90th minute at Prague’s Fortuna Arena when he latched on to a through-ball and beat the press to run in on goal and finish coolly to clinch a 2-1 victory and get manager David Moyes dancing.
It was his second cap in a number of days following a first international call-up after a fine season for the Hammers.
The World Cup was in sight for a man who had never been capped at any age-group level, but it was not to be, another career setback that Bowen would use as fuel to keep moving forward.
“I am disappointed I didn’t go to the World Cup, but three years ago I was playing for Hull City in the Championship. You have to look at it in different ways,” he said after missing the cut for Qatar.
“It’s about your mindset and the person you are to keep going and know what you can do. It’s just been about keeping going, never hide from it, never slump and keep always looking forward.”
Bowen featured in every Premier League game for West Ham this season, struggling, as much of the team did, in the early stages of the campaign.
But this is a forward fired up by unsuccessful trials at Aston Villa and Cardiff, determined to prove he is still worth being in the conversation when Gareth Southgate and Steve Holland pick their next England squad.
Peter Beadle worked with Bowen in the Hereford academy and took him along for the ride when he was appointed manager of the first team. Bowen’s rise to European trophy success will not have come as a shock to his old boss.
“He’s done nothing but go from strength to strength since and I’m not surprised one bit,” he told West Ham’s website when Bowen completed his move to the London Stadium in 2020.
“He’s a very humble human being. He comes from a very strong footballing background with his dad and he’s had a great upbringing. He’s honest and hard-working – a manager’s dream really.”
Last month Bowen announced the arrival of twin daughters with his partner Dyer, whose actor father Danny Dyer would have been just as jubilant when he saw Bowen run through on Wednesday night to win a trophy for his beloved Hammers.
Bowen is one of the most popular members of the West Ham dressing room but one of its quieter players.
However, actions spoke far louder than words when he tucked home past Pietro Terracciano to secure his place as a West Ham hero.