Back in 2005, in a Premier Alliance bout amid Newcastle and Aston Villa, Lee Bowyer and Kieron Dyer were beatific off for an on-pitch affray that saw punches befuddled by both players.
The adventure would acquire been abandoned had it not been for one abnormal factor: both Bowyer and Dyer were arena for Newcastle.
Here’s a admonition of the contest that led to that abominable moment…
Newcastle began the 2004-05 division searching to advance aloft a fifth-place alliance finish, with administrator Bobby Robson starting his sixth appellation in allegation and new signing Patrick Kluivert searching to add goals alongside Alan Shearer.
By April 2005, Graeme Souness was manager, neither Kluivert nor anyone abroad acquainted abundant like scoring, and the club, admiring in 10th, seemed absurd to authorize for Europe.
It’s fair to say that things hadn’t gone to plan.
Having taken seven credibility from their endure three matches, a home accoutrement adjoin 11th-placed Aston Villa on April 2 at atomic gave the Magpies a adventitious to put breath amplitude amid themselves and the basal bisected of the table.
Things didn’t alpha well. Newcastle’s defence of Stephen Carr, Jean-Alain Boumsong, Andy O’Brien and Aaron Hughes was breached if Juan Pablo Ángel addled a fifth-minute goal.
An analogously contested bout followed that aboriginal strike, and Newcastle were conceivably afflicted not to be awarded a penalty, but things went from bad to worse in the 73rd minute.
No, not the fight.
This adventure in fact complex apostle Steven Taylor, who would go on to pepper his career with such moments.
Villa’s Darius Vassell angled Shay Given and took aim at the goal, which was at this point adequate abandoned by Taylor.
After authoritative a blindingly accessible handball to stop Vassell’s effort, Taylor badly grasped his belly as admitting winded, or conceivably shot, in an attack to fool adjudicator Barry Knight.
It didn’t work. Taylor was apparent red, Gareth Barry adapted the consistent penalty, and Villa were safe.
Seven account later, Barry netted his additional amends of the match, putting Villa 3-0 up and heaping added ache on the home admirers central St James’ Park. But things were about to get even worse..
The on-pitch scuffle
The annoyance of the bout – two penalties, able academy lad attack asleep – eventually accepted too abundant for Bowyer, who believed that team-mate Dyer was carefully not giving him the ball.
With about 10 account to go, Bowyer confronted Dyer, who responded by saying: “The acumen I don’t canyon to you is because you’re s**t, basically.”
It was advancing being from the injury-prone midfielder, who acquire to acquire been blind of Bowyer’s alarming off-pitch history, which included assorted arrests for agitated incidents.
London-born Bowyer didn’t acknowledge kindly, abutting Dyer menacingly and blame his arch against his team-mate’s face.
A attack followed, with Dyer acutely authoritative the aboriginal advancing arm movement (albeit apparently with his palm), bidding two afterwards punches from Bowyer.
Dyer again appeared to be on the border of a castigating punch, but players from both teams accustomed to arbitrate and Bowyer was abject abroad from the bound with his shirt ripped at the neck.
Both fighters were beatific off, abrogation Newcastle, captained by a bent Shearer, to accomplishment the bout with eight players.
The brace affiliated the altercation down the adit and had to be afar by two club masseurs, afterwards which Souness reportedly challenged them (the players, not the masseurs) to a action if they anticipation they were boxy guys.
The agilely convened columnist conference
Immediately afterwards the match, Newcastle abiding a columnist appointment to acquiesce Bowyer and Dyer to apologise. Souness sat in between.
“I would just like to apologise to the fans, the chairman, the managing staff, all the players and everybody that is affiliated to Newcastle, my family, and everybody that witnessed what happened today on the football pitch,” Bowyer said.
“I will blow on the aforementioned as well,” Dyer added. “I would like to apologise to my team-mates, the manager, the chairman, and the fans, and anybody affiliated with the club as well.”
All of that was to be expected, but Newcastle’s scapegoating of Bowyer seemed just a tad unfair.
“I anticipate Lee Bowyer is indefensible,” Souness said. “I anticipate he is guilty, as the pictures show, of throwing added than one bite and he has to acquire whatever abuse comes his way.
“But Kieron, we feel, has an altercation here. I acquire apparent the adventure already on television and I acquire been assured by Kieron that he did not bandy any punches.”
Well he didn’t acreage any punches, that’s for sure.
You acquire to admiration if Newcastle would acquire taken the aforementioned access had it been, say, Shearer in Bowyer’s position and Peter Ramage in Dyer’s.
Probably not: Bowyer was s**t, basically.
Souness initially bidding achievement that both Bowyer and Dyer would be kept on at Newcastle, even as the players accustomed their assured bans: three matches for Dyer and four for Bowyer, who had been absolved beforehand in the season.
But while Newcastle maintained Dyer’s innocence, even battling his three-match ban, Bowyer was fined a almanac six weeks’ accomplishment (£210,000) and told by administrator Freddy Shepherd that he should go “down on his easily and knees” for forgiveness.
Weirdly, it was around every added Newcastle midfielder that got alien off instead, with Darren Ambrose, Nicky Butt, Jermaine Jenas, James Milner, Laurent Robert, and Hugo Viana all abandonment either assuredly or on accommodation that summer.
Bowyer would play one added division with the Magpies, applique two alliance goals afore abiding to West Ham in June 2006.
Dyer would endure a division best afore inexplicably reuniting with Bowyer at West Ham, bringing Scott Parker and Nobby Solano with him for acceptable admeasurement – or backup.
The wounds eventually healed, and in 2014 Dyer said his accord with Bowyer was as advantageous as could be.
“That’s just the way Lee was,” he said of the abominable fight. “But I still wish to exhausted him up.”
He’s apparently not alone.