David Meyler opens up on THAT headbutt incident with Alan Pardew

‘If he’d have dropped me I would never have lived it down’: David Meyler on THAT headbutt incident with Alan Pardew, call from the police he thought was a prank and how ex-Newcastle boss ignored him when they came face to face again

  • In March 2014 David Meyler was involved in an ugly incident with Alan Pardew 
  • Meyler, then playing for Hull, clashed with the Newcastle boss on the touchline 
  • After shoving Pardew off the ball, the veteran manager retaliated with his head 
  • Meyler has spoke out on the clash during FA Cup punditry duty with BT Sport
  • Pardew was fined £60,000 and hit with a seven-match ban for the incident 

David Meyler has finally spoken out on his infamous headbutt moment with Alan Pardew, when facing the former Newcastle manager as a Hull City player in 2014.

Tensions had been bubbling over in the match, when matters came to blows on the touchline after Pardew decided to withhold the ball after it bobbled out for a throw-in.

With Hull badly trailing in the game, defender Meyler had hurried over to the touchline before shoving Pardew away from the ball in order to hurry play along. 

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Tensions boiled over as Alan Pardew went at David Meyler with his head during a league match

A brawl followed with Hull boss Steve Bruce, now presently of Newcastle, also getting involved

Tempers flared as both Meyler and Pardew refused to give ground as the ugly scenes unfolded

Pardew was immediately led down the touchline and later hit with a fine and seven-match ban

Taking a few unsteady steps back Pardew, who became immediately incensed, completely lost his cool and decided to square up to the player.

With Meyler caught by surprise the veteran Premier League boss launched a headbutt, from which a mass brawl was to unfold. 

When asked to talk through what sparked the incident, Meyler offered his version of events while featuring as a guest pundit on BT Sport’s FA Cup coverage.

‘I just said something to him, a token gesture, and then he used some explicit language. I referred to him being a ‘soft, southern something’,’ Meyler said.

‘People say ‘he headbutted you’ but I wouldn’t say it was a headbutt. He kind of brushes his head against me. I don’t know what Alan Pardew was at the time, 56, 57, but if he’d have dropped me I would never have lived it down.’

Meyler, who announced his retirement from football last August, went on to explain how he mistakenly believed his team-mates had seized the opportunity to turn it all into a big joke. 

‘A lot of people ask if he apologised or whatever but funnily enough the next day I was at home and my phone rang. We had some pranksters in our team at the time so I thought it was a wind up, Robert Snodgrass would have been a prime example. 

‘I answered and they said ‘David, this is chief superintendent….’ So I said ‘yeah good one’ and hung up the phone. He rang back, I hung up again then the Hull chief executive at the time rang me and said ‘David, this is actually the police. Do you want to press charges?’ 

Speaking almost six years after the incident, Meyler joked he was glad he didn’t get ‘dropped’

Meyler was joined by Steve McManaman (left) and Joe Cole in the BT Sport FA Cup studio

‘I just thought it was a complete wind up. I said no of course. I wasn’t going to press charges against him but even so. 

‘We played Crystal Palace after he (Pardew) moved on from Newcastle and at Palace there’s a short tunnel and I remember walking past him and I gripped his hand, didn’t let go of it for a good five or six seconds but he never acknowledged it. 

‘I didn’t want an apology but I just wanted him to acknowledge he made a mistake. I don’t need him to say sorry to me,’ Meyler added.

After a Premier League panel analysed the incident, Pardew was hit with a seven-game ban and fined £60,000 for his conduct.

An independent FA commission at the time ruled the first three matches imposed were to be a complete stadium ban with the remaining four a touchline ban. 

In the aftermath, Pardew told Newcastle’s official website: ‘As I have made clear, I deeply regret the incident and again wholeheartedly apologise to all parties for my conduct, which I understand was not acceptable.’ 

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