‘I don’t know why I shot’
Lee Bowyer actually has no idea why he fired on target against AC Milan, who gave Leeds a famous win.
But the former Elland Road star admitted he now jokes that goalkeeper Dida just couldn’t contain the sheer power behind the shot, rather than saying the Brazilian slipped it through his hands.
It’s been 10 years since the east Londoner hung up his boots and he’s managed two of his former teams since then.
Bowyer had a number of memorable moments during his 17-year playing career. But one that stood out for talkSPORT host Jim White was THAT Champions League goal.
On a night of appallingly heavy rain on Elland Road in September 2000, a young Bowyer fell from 30 metres.
A crack from Milan goalkeeper Dida got the crowd excited minutes from time.
The goal ended up being the winner, saving three points and Bowyer was asked about the moment he joined talkSPORT.
“I remember that well, Jim,” he said.
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“I shot from a distance. I don’t even know why I shot.
“I was 30 meters away, I can’t even read from that distance, but it was really late in the game, it was pouring rain.
“The rain up north isn’t the same as down here in the south and I had a shot and Dida was fumbling with it. It went straight into his hands, it was an easy save for him.
“But now I joke and say it was too much power and it slipped through his hands and fell just over the line so we won 1-0 which was great and yes a great memory for me.”
Having qualified for the Champions League the previous season with a third-place finish in the Premier League, Leeds had a historic run in the competition, making it to the semi-finals.
However, they missed out on making the final and lost 3-0 to eventual runners-up Valencia.
Bowyer had moved to Leeds from Charlton in 1996 and stayed at Elland Road until 2003, where he made 256 appearances.
He then played for West Ham, Newcastle, Birmingham City – with whom he won the League Cup in 2011 – and Ipswich Town.
Since retiring from playing he has managed Charlton Athletic and guided them to promotion to the Championship in 2019 before taking over a season and a half at former club Birmingham City.
And when asked if he hopes to be back in management soon after leaving St Andrew’s, the former midfielder said he is certainly keeping his options open.
“We’ll see how it goes,” he added. “You can’t rush anything, but if something comes up, we’ll see how it goes.”
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