But at 32, the mists don't quite cloud his judgement as they once did. And those sprints forward are made in more considered fashion. Now a father of twins, perhaps the penny has dropped. Whatever the reason, his drive and know-how have been invaluable for Alex McLeish this season.
Maturing: Bowyer celebrates his match-winner
Bowyer scored the only goal in the 16th minute, a lob over Mark Schwarzer following a pass from James McFadden.
'I chatted with Lee before he signed,' said McLeish, 'I said 'You are a grown and mature man now'. His wife was expecting twins.
'He has got to count to 10. He used to have a short fuse. I think he has done well in terms of controlling it. I see it in training sometimes, you need to give him a wee reminder now and then.
'Coming from deeper, he's still a threat. He has to pick his moments.
'He plays with great commitment, he's the type of player I love. He scored the goal, earned himself a booking and was man-of-the-match. The complete all-rounder.'
Bowyer looked like a rabbit caught in the headlights when collared by the media.
'I never stopped making those runs,' he said. 'It's whether you get the ball. James McFadden's pass made it, he even put some check on it which allowed me to have a look at where the keeper was.
Driving rain: The game was a battle at times in hideous weather conditions
'Some people would have been happy to stay (at West Ham) and pick up their money, especially being from London. It's where I live, it's my home. But I don't just want to sit and watch football. I'll be doing that after I retire.
'And days like this help, when you wake up on a Sunday morning and are happy.'
Fulham had lots of possession without really threatening and midfielder Jonathan Greening said: 'We have lost to all three Midlands teams away from home now. That's not good. But we have Blackburn at home on Wednesday which would be an ideal time to start building again.'
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