'He wanted to carry it on' - Ex-Toon star reveals what happened in dressing room after infamous bust-up between Bowyer and Dyer

Former Newcastle United midfielder Darren Ambrose has opened up on the infamous on-field bust-up between Lee Bowyer and Kieron Dyer that saw the two teammates come to blows.

Friday, 2nd April 2021, 5:00 pm
Lee Bowyer and Kieron Dyer. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

It’s been 16 years to the day since the pair clashed in the 82nd minute of the Magpies' 3-0 defeat to Aston Villa, with both players shown straight red cards for the bizarre incident that has gone down in Premier League folklore.

Ambrose, who was on the Toon bench when it happened, has lifted the lid on the fiery confrontation – and what happened afterwards.

Speaking to talkSPORT, he said: “Absolutely incredible. To go back to before it happened, they were good friends, Lee Bowyer and Kieron Dyer – by all accounts they were after.

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"It was one of those things in the heat of passion, it happened, it shouldn’t have.

"Lee Bowyer was punching Kieron Dyer in front of 52,000 people. It was a terrible performance from Newcastle if I remember rightly, and it really did boil over.

"In training that happens at every football club, there’s little scraps every now and again, but it never happens on a football pitch. It hardly ever happens.

"It was incredible to witness, and it was probably from two players that never really thought it would happen. Bowyer was an angry football player, of course he was, he was aggressive, but Kieron Dyer was very calm, even in training. They both loved a little bit of banter with each other, but it spilled over.

"There’s a famous image of Gareth Barry dragging Bowyer and he’s literally snarling, foaming at the mouth, shirt ripped. It was a crazy scene.

"I made a point of rushing down to the changing room after to see what was going on. At the time we had two huge masseurs, both bodybuilders it looked like, so they were never going to let them get near each other because of course it was going to spill over.

"In terms of Kieron, he’d been punched four or five times by Lee Bowyer – looked like he got a dig in at the end – but it looked like he’d been punched left, right, and centre, and he wanted to carry it on in the dressing room.”