Premier League coach opens up about Newcastle United exit and Graeme Souness ‘bust-up’

Craig Bellamy has opened up about his departure from Newcastle United.
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Craig Bellamy has spoken about his departure from Newcastle United back in 2005 and a ‘bust-up’ with Graeme Souness that sparked his move north of the border. Bellamy initially left Newcastle on-loan in January 2005 to join Celtic before leaving St James’ Park on a permanent basis in summer to Blackburn Rovers.

Speaking on the Overlap, Bellamy revealed that it was an incident in the canteen that ultimately sparked the end of his time at St James’ Park: “We knew at Newcastle that Graeme Souness wanted to bring his own players and I knew that we needed to get players out.” Bellamy said. “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.

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“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.”

Bellamy continued: “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, 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.”

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After joining Blackburn Rovers in 2005, the Welshman then moved to Liverpool just a year later. He was on the move again in 2007, joining West Ham for two seasons before securing a move to Manchester City.

Another spell at Anfield followed before Bellany ended his career at Cardiff City. Since hanging up his playing boots, the 44-year-old has held a variety of coaching roles and has spent the last four seasons working alongside Vincent Kompany at Anderlecht and at Burnley where he acts as the Belgian’s assistant manager.

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