On this day: Lee Bowyer's iconic punch-up with Kieron Dyer during Newcastle vs Aston Villa

  • Kat Lucas
Newcastle United v Aston Villa

With English football still on hold, it's been a great opportunity to look back on some iconic goals, matches and memories. 

We've been celebrating the good, the bad, the ugly and the downright bizarre of the Premier League. 

Which brings us neatly to Lee Bowyer and Kieron Dyer. 

It's exactly 15 years today since the Newcastle teammates got in a blazing row on the pitch in a 3-0 home defeat to Aston Villa and ended up coming to blows. 

The duo were sent off in one of the most remarkable incidents ever seen in the top flight. 

It all began, Dyer recalls in his autobiography, when he decided against passing his fellow the midfielder the ball and Bowyer erupted. 

"Bowyer went crazy. ‘F****** pass me the ball,’ he screamed," Dyer wrote.

"A few minutes later, he wanted me to lay it square to him. I thought there were better options. It wasn’t personal. Bow went absolutely nuts. ‘F****** hell,’ he yelled, ‘you never pass me the ball.’


"'The reason I don’t pass you the ball,’ I said, ‘is because you’re f****** s***.'"

What a comeback! 

Match of the Day's coverage 

The scrap may have gone down in football folklore, but unsurprisingly, it didn't go down well in the north-east at the time. 


Alan Shearer could be heard screaming that the pair were a "f***ing joke" and a "disgrace to the club" as Villa midfielder Gareth Barry intervened to keep the Magpies players apart. 

You can watch the whole fallout, as seen on Match of the Day on April 2, 2005, below: 

Graeme Souness' press conference 

Manager Graeme Souness made each player apologise afterwards on national television. 

"I've been told and reassured by Kieron Dyer that he did not throw any punches today, that he was on the receiving end and that's the road we'll be going down," Souness told reporters. 


"I think Lee Bowyer is indefensible. I think he is guilty, as the pictures show, of throwing more than one punch. And he has to accept whatever punishment comes his way."

Even if he was the aggressor, he also seemed to come off worse with a torn shirt and a badly bruised ego. 

Who would have thought that, 15 years on, Bowyer would be in the dugout himself with Charlton Athletic. 

We wonder what he'd make of two of his players doing the same now - but football certainly isn't what it used to be. 

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