Fresh start for Bowyer

Last updated : 02 June 2003 By Martyn Elliott

In a rare perceptive moment Shepherd has also claimed that Bowyer will soon win over Newcastle’s fans if he can produce his best form on the pitch.

"We are giving him a fresh start and I am desperately hoping he will grab it with both hands," he told the Northern Echo.

"Lee knows that if he does the business on the field he will win over the doubters.

"We thought long and hard about the repercussions of signing Lee and I spoke at length to Sir Bobby Robson about the impact his arrival might have on the club.

"Sir Bobby rates him as one of the best English-born midfielders in the Premiership and we have signed him purely on his footballing abilities."

One man not impressed by the Bowyer deal is over-the-hill chat show host Michael Parkinson who told the Daily Telegraph that he was saddened by Sir Bobby’s decision to sign "such a disreputable man".

Everyone’s entitled to their opinion but surely Parky would be better off concentrating on his television show, which hasn’t had a single decent guest on it for about 25 years. In the seventies he used to attract the likes of Muhammed Ali, these days he’s lucky to be able to book Geri Halliwell.