Iconic Moments in Football No.80


This week’s Iconic Moment never even happened on a matchday. It happened on the West Ham United training ground and sent shockwaves throughout the football world. It even made the front pages of many newspapers and was talked about on the news.

The incident in question took place in September 1998 and involved John Hartson and Eyal Berkovic, both team mates at West Ham United. Both were playing in a training match when Hartson made a poor tackle on Berkovic.
The Israeli lay on the floor and Hartson went over to lift him up. Berkovic took offence and swung a punch at Hartson’s legs, who retaliated by kicking Berkovic straight in the face.

The whole sorry situation was caught on camera (as you can see the grainy footage below) and phots of the kick were splashed across newspapers across the world. Hartson moved to Wimbledon four months later, possibly due to the ill feeling between the two players. Berkovic moved north of the border and signed for Celtic.

The pair subsequently sorted the matter out and made up. John Hartson has gone on to say that the kick was the biggest regret of his life. The whole incident was very nasty and if it had happened on the street as opposed to a football pitch, Hartson would surely have faced criminal proceedings for his actions.

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