Scottish Daily Mail



I COULD see him marching towards me, eyes bulging. Graeme Souness was shouting ‘don’t do it’ from the touchline but Lee Bowyer kept on coming. I grabbed him by the shoulders and the neck to keep him off me and then he started raining in punches. It was like slow motion. When the punches were hitting me in the head, I was thinking: ‘I cannot believe he is hitting me in front of 52,000 people. What the f*** is he thinking?’ I was trying to let him punch himself out. I thought it was just going to be handbags. It’s the kind of thing that might happen in training but not in a match. No one in their right mind would do that — but Bow had lost his mind. I think he hit me four times. The punches didn’t hurt but by the time the fourth punch came in, I thought ‘f*** this’ and launched one back at him. Gareth Barry rushed in to restrain Bow and drag him away. Bow’s shirt was ripped down to his chest and he was still snarling and snapping and trying to get himself free. I was relatively calm, but I looked over at Bow again and he was frothing and raging. I didn’t realise that you could get sent off for fighting your team-mate. The referee came over and showed me the red card. Then he sent Bow off, too. I’d always got on well with him. I still do. The media have portrayed him in a certain way, and sure, he had his moments. But Frank Lampard had his moments, too, and people say he was the perfect role model. It helps that Frank fulfilled his potential and that he was an unbelievab­le player. That encourages people to forget his past misdemeano­urs. Bow did have a nasty temper. He was quite laid back in many ways, but once he went, he really went. Sometimes, he boiled over, and when he did, you just had to stand back and watch the show. We were 3-0 down at home to Aston Villa and the crowd were on our case. Out on the pitch, tempers were fraying. Bowyer had come to show for the ball. He was available, but I thought there were better options and passed to another team-mate. Bowyer went crazy. ‘F ****** pass me the ball,’ he screamed. ‘What are you talking about?’ I said. ‘You never pass me the ball,’ he said. I told him to do one but he chuntered a bit more. 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***.’ His whole demeanour changed. He had gone and I knew he had gone.

 ?? GETTY IMAGES ?? Fight club: Gareth Barry (left) tries to intervene as Lee Bowyer (second left) and Kieron Dyer come to blows in 2005
GETTY IMAGES Fight club: Gareth Barry (left) tries to intervene as Lee Bowyer (second left) and Kieron Dyer come to blows in 2005

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