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In the days leading up to their notorious fight, the ‘aggression’ between Newcastle United teammates Kieron Dyer and Lee Bowyer had been increasing.
Alan Shearer, a Magpies great, feels the unusual incident resulted from a simmering training field feud.
During United’s crushing defeat to Aston Villa in 2005, Dyer and Bowyer came to blows on the pitch and were ejected.
The pair were suspended for the FA Cup semi-final defeat to Manchester United due to the event, which brought embarrassment to the club.
The incident was included on BBC Sport’s list of the “craziest” events in Premier League history, and Shearer described his shock at seeing the brawl erupted in front of his eyes.
It was a personal remark aimed at Bowyer’s lack of talent, according to Dyer, that pushed him over the brink.
📅 14 Years Ago Today:
👊 Lee Bowyer & Kieron Dyer were both sent off for fighting each other against @AVFCOfficial.
❌ @NUFC finished the game with nine men and lost 3-0.
— SPORF (@Sporf) April 2, 2019
“We were playing the game,” the former Toon star explained, “and he came short and wanted the ball, so I passed it to someone else.”
“He said, ‘Give me the ball,’ and I said, ‘What are you talking about? I haven’t given the ball away.’ He returned five minutes later, and I gave it to someone else.
“‘You never pass to me!’ he complained. ‘I don’t pass to you because you’re ****,’ I explained.
Bowyer’s actions amounted to “severe misconduct,” according to Newcastle chairman Freddy Shepherd, who added that the club had “considered firing” him before concluding that a fine – allegedly in the region of £210,000 – and final warning were “appropriate.”
“He should get down on his hands and knees,” Shepherd said in an interview, implying that Newcastle fully blamed Bowyer, who is 28 years old.
Bowyer had expressed his displeasure at Dyer for allegedly failing to pass to him throughout the game.