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Tuesday, 18 December, 2001, 13:30 GMT
Profile: Lee Bowyer
Lee Bowyer celebrates scoring with Robbie Keane
Bowyer (right): Regular goalscorer for Leeds
By BBC Sports Correspondent Adam Mynott

Lee Bowyer might have thought that after being cleared of any wrongdoing in connection with the attack on a student, he could put his troubles behind him and concentrate on football.

But the news that he has been put on the transfer list by Leeds after refusing to pay a fine for breaking the club's code of conduct has thrust him back into the media spotlight.

Leeds have added that they will not be picking Bowyer unless he backs down over the club's punishment so any hope of finding relief on the field seems remote.

It was football that helped Bowyer to escape from the rough council estate in east London where he was born and brought up.

The Teviot estate in Tower Hamlets is notorious for its youth crime and violence.

At Langdon Park School he was an anonymous figure, and though a good footballer he did not reveal the promise which was to make him a Premiership star.

  Player facts
DOB: 03.01.77
Place of birth: London
Position: Midfielder
Signed for Leeds: 05.07.96
Fee: 2.8m from Charlton
Career appearances: 284
Career Goals: 62
Full England caps: 0, Under-21 caps: 13
Samsur Chowdury, a classmate remembers him as, "a quiet kid, who kept himself to himself".

After school, Bowyer achieved the childhood dream of many young boys and signed, aged 17, for a football club.

But the deal was with First Division Charlton Athletic, rather than his beloved West Ham.

In 1996 he moved from Charlton to Leeds for 2.8m - then a record for a British teenager.


Bowyer's initial progress at Elland Road was curtailed with the signing of two other all-action midfielders, David Hopkin and Alf Inge Haaland.

He eventually supplanted Hopkin in the side and in 1998/99 he was named Leeds' Player of the Season after plundering nine league goals.

He has since matured into an excellent all-round midfielder.

Bowyer was a key figure as Leeds finished in third place in the 1999/2000 Premiership table and was nominated for the PFA Young Player of the Year award.

A fiercely-competitive midfielder, Bowyer has been at the peak of his playing powers - despite being under intense scrutiny.

Lee Bowyer in action against Argentina in 2000
Bowyer excelled at Under-21 level

He remained focused enough to play in all Leeds' Premiership matches last season.

And he was also the joint leading scorer in the Champions League - with goals against continental giants AC Milan, Barcelona and Lazio.

He has continued in the same vein this season, with a string of commanding performances in a Leeds team that is doing well on both the domestic and European fronts.

A tough tackler and tireless worker, he excels at breaking from midfield to score crucial goals.

Yellow cards

But Bowyer is no stranger to controversy on the field.

At the start of the 1999/2000 season, his tackle on Stephen Clemence prompted a brawl between Leeds and Tottenham players.

Each club paid a 150,000 fine for their part in the incident.

That season, Bowyer was also given a one-match ban and a 4,000 fine by the FA for becoming the first Premiership player to amass 14 yellow cards.

After playing 13 times at under-21 level, Bowyer is yet to win his first England cap.

Leeds' Lee Bowyer
"I want to thank the people who stuck by me"
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