Kieron Dyer has opened up on the on-pitch fight between himself and then-Newcastle teammate Lee Bowyer.
Dyer and Bowyer were both sent off for fighting each other during a Premier League defeat to Aston Villa in April 2005.
The pair were reprimanded by manager Graeme Souness, with Alan Shearer sharing his own foul-mouthed reaction to the tussle.
Dyer says the incident occurred when he kindly informed Bowyer that he was, in fact, “f***ing sh*t”.
‘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,’ he said in his upcoming autobiography.
‘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**k 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**k 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.
‘The crowd had been on our case because we were 3-0 down at home to Aston Villa. 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***ing 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***ing 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***ing sh*t.’
‘His whole demeanour changed. He had gone and I knew he had gone. 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.’