Nearly a decade after team-mates Kieron Dyer and Lee Bowyer came to blows on the pitch as Newcastle United were beaten 3-0 at home by Aston Villa, the details of what happened have finally emerged as Dyer explained what started the fight, and what happened after in the dressing room.
Nobody was exactly sure what caused the two to fight, but Dyer has now explained that a jibe at Bowyer's ability is what sent him over the edge.
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 shit' basically. There were a lot of swear words. And that was it then you just saw him lose his head.
Dyer then suggested that Bowyer's punches didn't really effect him:
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’.
And finally the former Newcastle winger revealed how Jean Alain Boumsong tried to set them straight, before Graeme Souness did the most Graeme Souness thing of all 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.'
The game finished 3-0 to Aston Villa, with Stephen Taylor delighted that the match is remembered for the scrap rather than his hilarious attempt at getting away with a handball.