I wonder if Birmingham’s Lee Bowyer could start a fight in an empty room? That would be quite unique but if you needed evidence of his fighting skills, so to speak, look no further than St. James’s Park, Newcastle vs. Aston Villa, April 2005.
I am sure that will be remembered as the match where Bowyer and team-mate Kieron Dyer had a massive on-pitch brawl. Bowyer was perceived to have thrown the first punch and received one of his many fines and suspensions that have been given to him in his career.
The bad boys of football, like Bowyer, Joey Barton, and Dennis Wise etc are all actually decent players. Could it be that opposition players are scared of them? Bowyer, as Leeds fans will remember well, had a successful time at Elland Road along with his spells at West Ham and Newcastle. He is currently impressing, on and off the field, at Birmingham but it was far from that in the previous 15 years.
Much like his antics off the pitch, Bowyer has never been shy to get in to trouble on it. This is a man who has seen a yellow card flashed in his face 92 times, a record amount in the Premier League, and been sent for an early bath five times. In addition to that, he has found himself watching from the stands for six matches in 2002 for using foul and abusive language.
However, Bowyer’s incidents off the pitch have actually created more news then the late tackles, shouting at refs and winding up other players. He has been charged with GBH after a nightclub incident in Leeds (though he was cleared of all charges), involved in accusations of racially abusing a McDonald’s staff member and in his very early days he was suspended by his first club, Charlton, due to failing a test for cannabis use.
Bowyer’s troubles have not all come at once, be it on or off the pitch, throughout his career which shows that every time he looked like turning the corner he ended up doing something that would only increase his reputation as a spiteful player.
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