Midfielder in hot water

Bowyer apologises for foul-mouthed grandmother rant

September 20, 2010
By ESPNsoccernet staff

Lee Bowyer launched a foul-mouthed tirade at West Brom fans during Birmingham's 3-1 defeat at the Hawthorns on Saturday, but "apologised profusely" for the incident soon after according to Baggies officials.

Lee Bowyer yellow card Birmingham v West Brom
GettyImagesLee Bowyer was yellow carded and subsequently substituted against West Brom

West Brom supporter Sandra Cox, who was watching the game with her seven-year-old grandson, claimed Bowyer insulted her during a heated exchange that led to her reporting the former West Ham and Newcastle midfielder to the matchday stewards.

The incident ocurred moments after Bowyer escaped with just a yellow card following a dangerous tackle on Gabriel Tamas - a booking that saw the Birmingham player substituted immediately by Blues boss Alex McLeish.

On his way off the pitch, Bowyer became embroiled in an altercation with fans, leaving many shocked by his use of bad language.

"He called me a 'f****** ****' - it was appalling, especially with my grandson sitting next to me," Mrs Cox said. "It's terrible to hear such bad language. We sit there, in the family enclosure, so Luke doesn't have to hear it, but it's even worse because you hear all the players.

"Everybody was having a go because of the tackle on the other side of the pitch. Then he came over and was effing and blinding at everybody, and we were sitting right behind the dugout, so low down, that I told him off. I reported it to the nearest steward."

West Brom officials confirmed that Bowyer had clashed with supporters, but revealed that he had immediately issued an apology to those involved.

"A lady complained straight away to one of our senior stewards that she had been verbally abused, but the club are also aware that Lee Bowyer then made a complete and profuse apology to her," a West Brom spokesman said. "That is the end of the matter as far as West Bromwich Albion are concerned."

McLeish admitted that he was unaware of exactly what happened, but attempted to defend Bowyer, who he claimed was subject to his own share of abuse from the home fans.

"Someone said there were alleged comments by 'Bow', but I could see him getting mouthfuls from angry people sitting in the stand," McLeish said. "The only thing I saw him do was to put his hands up, telling people to calm down.

"Whether there are other versions to come, I don't know, but I just saw him getting pilloried by angry people. It was clearly a very heated situation, and when I looked round there were a lot of verbals coming from that direction, but it looked as if Lee was trying to calm things down."

Bowyer has gained notoriety for his involvement in a number of unsavoury incident over the years, having failed a drugs test for cannabis at Charlton, appeared in court after being charged with assault - though he was cleared of the charges - during his time with Leeds and fighting with then Newcastle team-mate Kieron Dyer on the pitch in 2005.