Kieron Dyer reveals cause of his infamous scrap with Lee Bowyer

St James Park

Former Newcastle United star Kieron Dyer has opened up about the on-pitch fight he had with his then team-mate Lee Bowyer.

It was one of the most baffling incidents the Premier League has ever seen: two players of the same team trying to tear lumps out of each other in front of 50,000 adoring fans.

That was the scenario in Newcastle United's 3-0 home defeat to Aston Villa in 2005. Dyer was playing just off legendary striker Alan Shearer and Bowyer was sitting in the midfield, the Magpies were already losing 3-0 and were down to 10 men after Stephen Taylor was given red for a deliberate handball.

The pair both came to blows for reasons that were originally unknown, but now Dyer, who retired from the game last year, has explained how it was him who provoked a violent reaction out of Bowyer, who has also now retired.

Dyer told ChronicleLive: "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 **** basically’. There were a lot of swear words. And that was it then you just saw him lose his head."

Dyer, who was capped 33 times by England, went on to add how he wasn't aware that he could be sent off for fighting with a team-mate, and claims that he and Bowyer tried to continue the fight in the tunnel and changing rooms before the then Newcastle manager Graeme Souness and Shearer put them both in their place.

He added: "Then Souness came in and said, ‘If you want to fight I’ll beat both of you.’ Al 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.”

Nine years later, the 35-year-old claims he and Bowyer still see one another and have repaired their friendship.

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