Tomorrow the duo will be reunited, but there will be a divide as Bowyer brings his Charlton Athletic side to Bradford for Hopkin’s home bow as City head coach.
“Lee was very quiet, but he was a winner,” said Hopkin, who joined Leeds a year after Bowyer had arrived from the Valley during the summer of 1996.
“Athletic and fit, he was the most expensive teenager at the time, but he managed (that pressure) brilliantly and had a good career at Leeds.
“Now he is into management and probably adds some of the qualities he had as a player.
“I have not seen Lee for 18 years so I don’t know if he has a few more grey hairs (from being a manager).
“But I like it when anyone I have played with gives something back to football. Too many come out and don’t do anything.”
Tomorrow’s clash with the London club will make Hopkin the fourth incumbent of the home dugout at Valley Parade since the turn of the year.
Such a rapid turnover is a big factor in why 2018 has turned so sour, joint chairman Edin Rahic this week being moved to make a public apology over the mistakes that have been made.
Hopkin, for his part, is keen to draw a line under the past and look to the future.
“The statement that Edin came out with was about stuff that has happened before I was here,” said the Scot.
“The meetings I have had with Edin have been fantastic. Everything I have asked for I have been given. Everything in the past is before me and I am just looking forward to how I coach now and taking Bradford City forward. We need to go forward as a group.”
Hopkin added: “The past is the past. I think now is a new chapter and we move on. Edin has come out and done his piece and from now on we just go on together.
“It is how I have always been. I don’t worry about what happened six months or a year ago at any club. All I concentrate myself on is making sure we go forward.”
Former Celtic and Motherwell midfielder Jim O’Brien has become City’s first signing under Hopkin after joining on a short-term deal until December as a free agent.