Shepherd confirms Bowyer deal

Last updated : 24 May 2003 By Martyn Elliott

He also reiterated his belief that the deal will prove to be sound business and that given a chance to put previous misdemeanours behind him Bowyer is capable of resurrecting his career.

"Lee has signed the pre-contract and the deal is all locked up," Shepherd told The Journal.

"We can't sign him until he passes a medical but, in principle, we're delighted to have a player of his quality.

"Now I am hoping our supporters will allow Lee to do his talking on the pitch. I can understand why people are going over old ground but why not give him a chance?

"The lad just wants to get on with his life and we're full of confidence that he'll make a success of this move.

"Both Sir Bobby and myself are confident that he'll be an asset to Newcastle United and that he will settle in straight away. We have taken into consideration the feelings of our supporters but we're happy with the decision we have taken."

While it is difficult to criticise Sir Bobby or Shepherd after recent dealings in the transfer market their enthusiasm for Bowyer has both shocked and saddened me.

He may well prove to be a success on the pitch, as past performances have proved that he is a talented footballer, but do we really need or want Lee Bowyer the individual at Newcastle United?