Lee Bowyer has apologised for a foul-mouthed tirade directed at West Brom fans during Birmingham’s 3-1 defeat at the Hawthorns on Saturday.
West Brom supporter Sandra Cox, who was watching the game with her seven-year-old grandson, claimed Bowyer insulted her during a verbal exchange that led to her reporting the former West Ham and Newcastle midfielder to the matchday stewards.
The incident ocurred moments after Bowyer had been substituted following a rash challenge on West Brom defender Gabriel Tamas.
“He called me a ‘f****** ****’ – it was appalling, especially with my grandson sitting next to me,” Mrs Cox said. “It’s terrible to hear such bad language. We sit there, in the family enclosure, so Luke doesn’t have to hear it, but it’s even worse because you hear all the players.
“Everybody was having a go because of the tackle on the other side of the pitch. Then he came over and was effing and blinding at everybody, and we were sitting right behind the dugout, so low down, that I told him off. I reported it to the nearest steward.”
West Brom officials confirmed that Bowyer had clashed with supporters, but revealed that he had immediately issued an apology to those involved.
“A lady complained straight away to one of our senior stewards that she had been verbally abused, but the club are also aware that Lee Bowyer then made a complete and profuse apology to her,” a West Brom spokesman said. “That is the end of the matter as far as West Bromwich Albion are concerned.”
McLeish admitted that he was unaware of exactly what happened, but attempted to defend Bowyer.
“Someone said there were alleged comments by ‘Bow’, but I could see him getting mouthfuls from angry people sitting in the stand,” McLeish said. “The only thing I saw him do was to put his hands up, telling people to calm down.
“Whether there are other versions to come, I don’t know, but I just saw him getting pilloried by angry people. It was clearly a very heated situation, and when I looked round there were a lot of verbals coming from that direction, but it looked as if Lee was trying to calm things down.”