Flying boots, broken ribs and golf club assaults: 9 brutal off-field football bust-ups

Football has witnessed some legendary bust ups between over the years.

Perhaps the most infamous was when Kieron Dyer and Lee Bowyer fell out quite spectacularly during a 3-0 defeat to Aston Villa at St James’ Park in 2005.

Both saw red for their trouble and Newcastle manager Graeme Souness reportedly offered to fight both of them in the changing room afterward. He’d have probably won too.

Scraps on the pitch generally tend to be memorable – but there is always drama behind the scenes too.

There have been countless falling outs away from the field, too.

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Dressing rooms, training pitches and warm weather getaways have all seen teammates tearing strips off each other.

Here’s a selection of some of the most remarkable…

John Hartson and Eyal Berkovic

The bust-up couldn’t have been more public

Some players love to throw in crunching tackles in training, but not everyone takes kindly to them.

After receiving such a challenge from John Hartson, Eyal Berkovic punched the Welsh international in the leg.

He wouldn’t have expected Hartson’s response though, which was to kick him in the face. The incident was captured on camera by a TV news crew leading to all hell breaking loose in the media.

“If my head had been a ball, it would have been in the top corner of the net” was Berkovic’s description of the incident.

Hartson was fined £20,000 and suspended for three games, and has since called it the biggest regret of his career.

Sir Alex Ferguson and David Beckham

Beckham shows off his battle scars following his clash with Ferguson
(Image: Popperfoto via Getty Images)

When Manchester United met Arsenal in the peak of the Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger years, tempers often flared. But not often between two men from the same side.

In February 2003, the Gunners won 2-0 at Old Trafford to knock United out of the FA Cup. In a heated home dressing room afterward, Ferguson kicked a boot which…


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