Bowyer A 'Racist Thug'?

Last updated : 14 September 2009 By Footy Mad - Editor

He was caught up in an incident with Jonathan Woodgate nine years ago  when an Asian student suffered injury and Bowyer and Woodgate (amongst others) went to court..

Lee Bowyer: 'My family are important to me and some of the stuff that was said and written was very personal. But people believe it.

'They don't know what sort of person I am. I was attacked pretty badly. I  didn't think it was fair, especially as I was found not guilty. That's what hurts me the most.

'I'll walk down the street and people will say: 'Here's that racist thug.'

'I've never been a racist. I'm not a thug. When I've played football I've been competitive and sometimes, I'll admit, I've over-stepped the mark. I know that. But that's just the way I play. The game's changed. But I've not - not in the way I play, anyway.

'The thing that does me the most is that I'm labelled a racist. I've got Asian frriends, I've got African friends. I've got mates who come from every nation you can think of. How could I be a racist growing up on an estate where there are people from every different race on the planet? I never had any issues.

'I think the problem was that I was found not guilty. Maybe that was the thing.  Everyone else was found guilty of something or another. People couldn't have a pop at me because of that, so they would pick on something else.'

'It (the fight with Kieron Dyer)  wasn't right, but it happens on a training pitch near enough every week.

'It was nothing personal. It was unfortunate it was on the pitch.'

"The slightest thing I do is exaggerated. Someone else will do a two-footed tackle and the pundits will say:  'He's mis-timed it.' If I do it, the same people say: 'Ban him for life.'

'It's one rule for me and one rule for everyone else.

'It does gripe. I've made mistakes. I've never denied that. If I've been sent-off, I'll take my punishment. Everyone makes mistakes. But I see others doing the same and they aren't as harshly treated as me.'

"I'm not talking about Joey  because I don't know him, but he's been to prison twice, hasn't he? That's nothing like me."