On This Day in 2005 – Lee Bowyer fined after on-pitch fight with Kieron Dyer
The Newcastle pair had extraordinarily come to blows when an argument during a 3-0 defeat by Aston Villa at St James’ Park.
Newcastle fined midfielder Lee Bowyer a record six weeks’ wages on this day in 2005 for his part in an on-pitch fight with team-mate Kieron Dyer two days earlier.
The pair had extraordinarily come to blows when an argument during the Magpies’ 3-0 defeat by Aston Villa at St James’ Park spiralled out of control.
Both players were sent off by referee Barry Knight over the incident, which occurred late in the game after Villa had just scored their third goal.
Newcastle chairman Freddy Shepherd said Bowyer’s actions amounted to “gross misconduct” and that the club had “considered sacking” him before deciding that a fine – reportedly of around £210,000 – and final warning were “fitting”.
“He should go down on his hands and knees,” Shepherd added in an interview which made clear that Newcastle laid the blame for the controversy squarely at 28-year-old Bowyer’s feet.
Bowyer had shown his frustration with Dyer on occasions during the game for apparently not passing to him.
The situation rapidly escalated as the players passed by each other when Villa mounted another attack.
Bowyer was the initial aggressor but both threw punches in the scuffle that ensued. Bowyer ended up with a ripped shirt and the arguments continued as both players headed down the tunnel.
Manager Graeme Souness later told the pair to join him at his post-match press conference and apologise publicly.
“I am sincerely sorry,” Bowyer said with a “deeply sorry” Dyer adding that while disagreements between team-mates did occur they “should not be fighting in front of 50,000 people”.
Dyer avoided internal punishment and the club also appealed against his red card on the grounds of wrongful dismissal.
This was rejected by the Football Association and Dyer went on to serve a three-match ban which ruled him out of an FA Cup semi-final.
Bowyer faced an automatic four-match suspension as it was his second sending-off of the season but this was increased to seven games following an FA disciplinary hearing. The governing body also fined him an additional £30,000.
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