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United fans would say thanks for giving 100% in a game - it was just that type of place.

Byline: Lee Ryder Chief Sports Writer twitter: @lee_ryder

LEE BOWYER admits he has not played for too many teams where fans come up to you after the match to offer you a personal: "thank you" on a Saturday night.

The former midfielder hails from Canning Town in the capital but, T despite a recent interview with Dennis Wise in which the ex-United director of football claimed the toon Army do not T take to southerners, Bowyer is living evidence that is simply not the case on Tyneside. T While Bowyer may have made the headlines for the wrong reasons earlier in his career, the Geordie fans backed him from the hilt as he showed he was prepared to sweat blood for the black -and-white cause.

Newcastle has often been branded a Goldfish Bowl by others, but Bowyer - who loved his time playing under Sir Bobby Robson and alongside Alan Shearer - said the affection of the Geordie public still touches him to this day. He told the Chronicle in an exclusive "interview: "It is lovely.

"Every fan up there just wants their "Ifan up there just wants their "IE players to give 100% "I did every game. Some games I did "Inot play as well as others.

"I would always give everything and "that is what they love.

"Whenever I would see people in the town afterwards they would come up and say: 'Thanks for giving 100% today'.

"It is just that type of place. ' "Even now when I go up there or onnow when I go up there or on e. holiday you always see a Geordie and they always say thanks for my efforts.

"It was just the way it was.

"I would give 100% and whatever happened after that, winning or scoring was a bonus.

"I did love my time there." Bowyer scored important goals during his time at Newcastle, including a strike at Southampton in a 3-3 draw when United salvaged a UEFA Cup place in 2004 and a vital 3-1 win over tottenham in 2006 during a man-of-in 2006 during a man-of-Tthe match display against Spurs.

He admitted it felt like a spiritual feeling to score at St James' Park.

The Londoner, who played on Tyne T -side a year ago in Steve Harper's testi"monial against AC Milan, added: "Whenever I scored goals there it was "just so special.

"It isa special atmosphere anyway, "especially at St James' Park.

"The crowd are just unbelievable the "way they get behind you.

"It is just surreal. Even in Steve Harpin Steve HarpE -er's testimonial the way they welcomed him back.

"They are just special people up there."

Newcastle reached the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup in Bowyer's first season at St James' Park.

He also has fond memories of reaching an FA Cup semi-final and another U | EFA Cup quarter-final in 2005.

Bowyer said: "We were unlucky. "Defensively we just conceded a few too many.

"I think that is a Newcastle saying now!

"Even before Kevin Keegan was there E it was just one of those things Newcas"tle have never been able to sort out. "We tried. We bought Alain Boum"song in and he wa not the answer. "If we had have been able to shut things down a bit more we would have won things - because we definitely "scored goals the way we played.

"In the time I was there we reached the FA Cup semi-final, the UEFA Cup semi-final and the last eight of the "UEFA too. We were close but unlucky.

"We were so attacking.It was exciting to play in for us as players - so it must have been exciting to watch."

Lee: Dyer bust-up a moment of madness Lee Ryder LEE BOWYER has revealed his desire to win matches for Newcastle United boiled over into a "moment of madness" - and prompted him to trade blows with Kieron Dyer in front of a packed St James' Park.

The midfielder has been speaking in-depth with the Chronicle about his time on Tyneside. T While Geordie fans still have good memories of the tough-tackling former Leeds United man, Bowyer admits passions bubbled over as the game slipped away from the Magpies in a 3-0 loss to Aston Villa in 2005.

This week, Dyer gave his version of events but Bowyer confirmed to us he was still friends with the ex-England international.

He told the Chronicle: "It was a moment of madness.

"Everybody regretted it afterwards, but we are winners.

"When you play football you have to be that way.

"You have to want to win. Sometimes it goes to far - that is what happened that day.

"I am sure if we had been winning 3-0 it would never have happened."

" Bowyer insisted there were no hard feelings and the pair have since teamed up to play golf to raise money forSir Bobby Robson's charity.

He added:"We were all trying to pull in the same direction and it was just a moment of madness.

"Kieron is a nice lad and I still see him. I saw him at Sir Bobby's golf day and we had a beer and a laugh."

After the infamo" incident, boss Graeme Souness offered to fight both players in the dressing room.

Bowyer admits he always had admiration for one of football's genuine hard men.

He said: "He did well. "He bought the passion and the fight back. If you did not give that he would let you know.

"He was different to Al (Shearer) and to Bobby, he would let you know.

"He would tell you how unhappy he was. He would not let you rest on that.

"Every day it was about hard work, playing together as a team and supporting each other."

CAPTION(S):

Lee Bowyer played alongside some big names during his time at Newcastle - such as Geordie hero Alan Shearer
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Oct 24, 2014
Words:977
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