Bowyer launches red card appeal

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The Independent Football

Newcastle midfielder Lee Bowyer has launched an appeal against his dismissal for a foul on Xabi Alonso during his side's 2-0 Boxing Day defeat at Liverpool.

The 28-year-old was given a straight red card by the referee, Mark Halsey, for a lunge which saw him pushed to the ground by Peter Crouch in the ugly brawl which resulted.

The Newcastle manager, Graeme Souness, later said that he had not seen the incident and suggested there might have been more than one sending-off, but the Football Association confirmed yesterday that the club had appealed and his case will be heard today.

"The FA has received a claim for wrongful dismissal from Newcastle United relating to the sending-off of Lee Bowyer," said an FA statement. "Bowyer was shown a red card for serious foul play during Newcastle's Premier League match against Liverpool on 26 December."

The move was confirmed by Newcastle, who play Charlton at St James' Park this evening. "Lee Bowyer has appealed against his sending-off and the hearing will be held," a spokesman said. The move made Bowyer available for last night's match at home to Charlton Athletic.

The game at Liverpool - the club he almost joined from Leeds during the summer of 2002 - was Bowyer's 83rd appearance for the Magpies since his free transfer move to St James' Park in July the following year. It brought him his fourth red card in a black and white shirt, the first also coming at Anfield in a 3-1 defeat on December 19, 2004.

Bowyer's second dismissal was an unfortunate sending-off for two bookable offences in a 2-1 Uefa Cup victory in Heerenveen in February 2005 and the third was after he and his team-mate Kieron Dyer were involved in an incident during a 3-0 home defeat by Aston Villa two months later.

Bowyer's time on Tyneside has rarely seen him reach the heights he attained during the peak of his spell at his previous club, Leeds, where he helped David O'Leary's side reach the semi-finals of the Champions' League with the best football of his career despite his well-documented off-the-field troubles.

Signed by Sir Bobby Robson to a mixed reception from the club's fans, the Londoner's effort has never been in question, but the roles in which he has been asked to play have not always suited his style of play.

He has slipped down the pecking order since the summer arrivals of Scott Parker and Emre Belozoglu - his place in the starting line-up at Liverpool was down to the former Chelsea man's suspension - and his departure during the January transfer window would come as no surprise.

Souness has admitted the player is keen to return closer to his roots with first club, Charlton, and Birmingham among the clubs monitoring his situation.

The City manager, Steve Bruce, tried to sign him during the summer, only for Bowyer to turn down the move after a section of the club's fans protested.

The Newcastle defender Steven Taylor, who again dislocated his shoulder half an hour into Monday's game, is expected to undergo surgery to repair the damage within days. The 19-year-old will be out for around three months of a season in which he had established himself as an automatic choice before first suffering a shoulder injury on England Under-21 duty.

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