By Chris Wright
Nearly a decade on from that fateful day at St. James’ Park, former Newcastle winger Kieron Dyer has lifted the lid on his infamous on-pitch altercation with teammate Lee Bowyer during a game against Aston Villa back in 2005.
As the play went on up-field, Dyer and Bowyer came to blows in the middle of the pitch during Newcastle’s 0-3 defeat and while the incident has reached a fairly high level of notoriety among footballing circles, the exact reason for the tussle had never been divulged…UNTIL NOW.
Opening up to the Newcastle Evening Chronicle, Dyer has revealed that a jibe about Bowyer’s lack of ability that sparked the clobbering match.
“We were playing the game, he came short and wanted the ball and I passed to someone else.
“He was like ‘Give me the ball’ and I was like ‘I haven’t given the ball away, what you talking about’.
Five minutes later he came again and I gave it to somebody else and he said, ‘You never pass to me!’
I said, ‘The reason I don’t pass to you is because you’re sh*t, basically’.
“There were a lot of swear words. And that was it, then you just saw him lose his head.
“He said, ‘You what?’ And I said, ‘You heard me.’
“As he was walking towards me I just thought he was going to grab me or push me.
“When he was raining the punches in I thought, ‘You need to get on the weights because they aren’t hurting.’
“Secondly, I was thinking ‘I can’t believe he’s doing this in front of 50,000 people’.”
So it seems our worst “Adult footballers embroiled in childish argument shocker” fears were correct after all.
Here’s the incident again in all its glory…
The pair were later forced to shake hands (very awkwardly) in public, but Dyer revealed that the fight continued into the dressing room after both players were sent off.
Newcastle defender Jean-Alain Boumsong told the pair to duke it out in the dressing room, though both players apparently backed down when manager Graeme Souness offered to fight them both at the same time.
“I didn’t know you could get sent off for fighting your own team-mate, so when the red card came out I thought, ‘What the hell!’
“I was sent off first and I was waiting in the tunnel to get some revenge.
“He came in, and we had two massive masseurs and they just dunked us on their shoulders.
“It was like a cartoon when your feet are dangling off the ground and we were trying to get at each other.
“We are sat in the changing room and they were in the middle of us.
“I was thinking how I could get to him. Then we heard the final whistle.
“Boumsong came in and said, ‘If you want to fight, fight now.’ I was wanting to fight and get the revenge.
“Then Souness came in and said, ‘If you want to fight I’ll beat both of you.’
“[Alan Shearer] came in and I never saw him lose it like that – he went mad and called us selfish and a disgrace.
“He knew we’d have a three-match suspension and miss the FA Cup semi-final that was coming up.”
Thankfully, however, the pair have since kissed and made up and now see each other regularly without wanting to ruin one another’s boyish good looks.
“I still see him now, we are friends,” Dyer added. “That’s just the way Lee was – but I still want to beat him up!”