Retro Football: John Hartson Kicks Eyal Berkovic In The Head In Training, 1998 (Video)

Ollie Irish

8th, December 2010


By Ollie Irish

Ah, the lovable Welsh nutter. He kicked an Israeli then he kicked cancer.

And here’s Hartson’s take on the incident, which he does regret:

“We were beaten 2-0 by Northampton in our last League Cup game. [Former West Ham boss] Harry Redknapp asks what went wrong. I respect Harry and we are friends. He likes a bet like me and we go to the dogs together. I give it to him from the heart. I am trying to help Harry help us win. I say: ‘I wouldn’t play Eyal away from home’.

“It infuriates Eyal, his dark eyes blaze like coals, he accuses me of not running for the ball away from home or any other time. He is mad as hell.

“We are on the training field now. I can see our orange bibs and the steam rising from our hot heads into the air. John Moncur rolls the ball to me and Eyal intercepts, I charge in from behind and take his legs away. He rolls on the floor, squealing in pain.

“I am instantly sorry and help him up. I offer my hand, but he lashes out unexpectedly, hitting me in the stomach. I catch my breath in shock.

“Suddenly I have no control over my legs. I am absolutely blazing with fury. My left boot shoots out and cracks Eyal under the jaw. I kick him hard, like I’m trying to score a goal with his head.

“I wish I could turn the clock back and erase the memory. I will always deeply regret it.”

The best part of this, indisputably, is when Big John says: “Suddenly I have no control over my legs.”

By the way, Eyal really needs to get his Wikipedia profile pic changed…