Ex Newcastle United star shares new details on major bust-up which caused sudden £5m transfer

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Former Magpies forward Craig Bellamy accused manager Graeme Souness of leaking stories to the press about his training ground outrage.

Former Newcastle United star Craig Bellamy has opened up on the blockbuster argument he had with ex Magpies manager Graeme Souness, which ultimately led to him being frozen out the side and sold to Blackburn Rovers for £5 million.

The Welshman spent four years on the books at St James' Park after joining from relegated Coventry City in 2001 and credits the North East club for being where he 'really took off'. Bellamy made 128 appearances for the Magpies, more than he made at any other side, bagging 43 goals and registering 23 assists.

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The 44-year-old, who now works as assistant manager alongside Vincent Kompany at Burnley, saw his time on Tyneside end under a cloud after a big fallout with Souness. Bellamy accused the Scotsman of having leaked stories of him to the press after he reacted to rumours that he was to be sold.

Speaking to The Overlap, Bellamy said: “We knew at Newcastle that Graeme Souness wanted to bring his own players and I knew that we needed to get players out. We were struggling for right-wingers and I remember him asking if I could do a job for him on the right wing, and I played on the wing for Wales, but never up top for Wales.

“I could play on the wing and I did, but then an article came out saying the club were listening to offers for me, which didn’t make me happy as I’d been doing a job for them on the wing and doing them a favour. I said it out loud in the canteen with other players in the room and I knew that it got back to him, through Alan Shearer, but I was okay with that. I shouldn’t have said it, that’s the fact of it all.

"So, as training finishes, the manager walks in as I was walking out and said that we were going to see the chairman. So, as he’s speaking to the chairman, he asked if I feigned an injury and I said no, I’m fully fit, so he asked why I was telling people that I wasn’t playing on the Saturday, but I was fully fit. I asked him to look at the papers, because the chairman always had a group of papers on his desk, and basically accused the manager of leaking stories to the paper about me.”

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That weekend Newcastle United were playing Arsenal at Highbury and Bellamy found himself being told he wasn't even on the bench for the fixture. Following the match, which the Gunners won 1-0, it emerged in reports that Bellamy had refused to play.

Craig Bellamy’s Newcastle United career ended with an argument (Image: Getty Images)Craig Bellamy’s Newcastle United career ended with an argument (Image: Getty Images)
Craig Bellamy’s Newcastle United career ended with an argument (Image: Getty Images) | Getty Images

The forward said: "From the statement I made in the canteen in the training ground about my frustration of Newcastle listening to offers for me, to me now being dropped from the squad, it looks like I’m refusing to play as a right-winger. I then come out on Sky that I didn’t refuse to play and then a day later, I did a one-on-one interview with Sky again and I accused the manager of lying.

“Many people told me not to do but I was stubborn at doing the interview, but then from that moment, I had to go into training completely separate from everyone else and train alone.”

Earlier this year, Bellamy admitted bankruptcy as a result of failed investments and owes £1,398,071.20 to HMRC and has also opened up about his battle with depression since hanging his boots up.

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