Gareth Barry has revealed what went through his head when he was forced to break up an infamous fight between Newcastle United midfielders Kieron Dyer and Lee Bowyer.

In what is considered to be an iconic Premier League moment, the Magpies found themselves 3-0 down to Aston Villa in April 2005 when teammates Dyer and Bowyer came to blows.

Both players saw red, with Barry being the one to split them up.

Speaking to Birmingham Live, the 39-year-old revealed that the incident had actually been building up for some time.

"That's a mad Premier League moment that comes up all the time and it will do forever," he said.

"To talk about it from my point of view, I think we were winning the game at the point.

"They were arguing while the game was going on for at least 45 seconds to a minute and I'm trying to concentrate on the game whilst listening to these two.

"I could feel it getting more and more heated and some of the things they were saying to each other wasn't normal and you could tell it was going to bubble over.

"So I'm trying to keep half an eye on the game and half an eye on these two.

"All of a sudden they're walking towards each other and I'm thinking they're just gonna have a chat or a push.

"But then the punches start getting thrown and luckily I'm close enough by to try and break it up. so yeah I find myself in a lot of pictures over the years breaking that fight up and every time it's spoken about!"

Dyer reflected on the incident in his 2018 autobiography, revealing he initially wanted no part of the confrontation when Bowyer came towards him.

"I could see him marching towards me, eyes bulging," said Dyer.

Gareth Barry of Aston Villa restrains Newcastle's Lee Bowyer after he came to blows with team mate Kieron Dyer on April 2, 2005
Gareth Barry of Aston Villa restrains Newcastle's Lee Bowyer after he came to blows with team mate Kieron Dyer on April 2, 2005

"Graeme Souness was shouting ‘don’t do it’ from the touchline but Lee Bowyer kept on coming.

“I grabbed him by the shoulders and the neck to keep him off me and then he started raining in punches. It was like slow motion.

"When the punches were hitting me in the head, I was thinking: ‘I cannot believe he is hitting me in front of 52,000 people. What the f*** is he thinking?’

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"I was trying to let him punch himself out. I thought it was just going to be handbags. It’s the kind of thing that might happen in training but not in a match. No one in their right mind would do that — but Bow had lost his mind. I think he hit me four times.

"The punches didn’t hurt but by the time the fourth punch came in, I thought ‘f*** this’ and launched one back at him. Gareth Barry rushed in to restrain Bow and drag him away.

"Bow’s shirt was ripped down to his chest and he was still snarling and snapping and trying to get himself free. I was relatively calm, but “I looked over at Bow again and he was frothing and raging.

"I didn’t realise that you could get sent off for fighting your team-mate. The referee came over and showed me the red card. Then he sent Bow off, too. The crowd had been on our case because we were 3-0 down at home to Aston Villa."