Newcastle United is a professional football club based in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. It was founded in 1892 and has a long history of memorable moments, including its Premier League and FA Cup triumphs. However, one incident in particular stands out in the club’s history, when two of its players fought each other on the pitch during a game.
The incident took place on the 27th of April, 2005, during a Premier League game between Newcastle United and Aston Villa. The game was a crucial one for both teams, as they were both fighting to qualify for a UEFA Cup spot. However, the game quickly descended into chaos when Newcastle’s Lee Bowyer and Kieron Dyer got into a physical altercation.
According to Dyer’s account, Bowyer accused him of not giving him the ball and he replied by saying: “The reason I don’t pass to you is because you’re shit, basically.” This provoked Bowyer to throw punches at Dyer, who retaliated by hitting back. The two players were quickly separated by their teammates and opponents, but not before referee Barry Knight showed them both red cards.
The fight shocked everyone watching, including their manager Graeme Souness, who later said: “I have never seen anything like it before in my life.” Souness also defended Dyer’s role in the incident, saying that he was provoked by Bowyer’s aggression. However, he condemned both players for their disgraceful behaviour and fined them heavily.
What happened after?
Following the incident, both players were fined by Newcastle United and banned for several games. Bowyer was also charged with violent conduct by the Football Association and was handed a six-match ban. Despite the punishment, the incident remains a black mark on the history of Newcastle United and is often cited as an example of poor sportsmanship and unprofessionalism.
The incident also had wider repercussions for the football world as a whole, leading to increased scrutiny of on-pitch violence and player behaviour. In the years since the incident, there have been many calls for stricter penalties for violent conduct and unsporting behaviour, with some even suggesting that incidents like this could be prevented through the use of technology, such as video assistant referees (VAR).
Newcastle finished the season in 14th place, missing out on European qualification. The club’s reputation was damaged by the incident and many fans lost respect for both players. Bowyer left Newcastle at the end of the season to join West Ham United. Dyer stayed at Newcastle until 2007 but struggled with injuries and form.
The incident remains one of the most infamous moments in Premier League history and a reminder of how teammates can turn into enemies in an instant.
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