Ex-Portsmouth man Gavin Maguire: Southampton's Matt Le Tissier swung at me like a silly petulant child - he was lucky he realised the error of his ways

Gavin Maguire insists it was actually Matt Le Tissier who threw the only punch in the iconic photograph.

Friday, 6th May 2022, 4:55 am

And he is adamant the Southampton Legend had a let off after quickly realising the ‘error of his ways’.

The encounter occurred during the Southern Masters 5-a-side tournament in Milton Keynes in 2003, with Pompey facing off against their south-coast rivals.

And to this day the picture which depicts a scuffle between Maguire and Le Tissier which still raises a chuckle.

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Maguire told The News: ‘To be honest, that photograph is a bit misleading, it shows you split-second timing.

‘It looks like I right hooked Le Tissier, but what actually happened is we tussled for the ball and he tried to give me a little punch.

‘Still, he ended up on the floor and didn’t want to pursue it any more – so Pompey wins again!

‘It was his fault, though. We scuffled and he swung one at me, the punch was silly and petulant, like a child would do.

Gavin Maguire and Matt Le Tissier's infamous flashpoint during the Southern Masters' 5-a-side tournament in Milton Keynes in 2003. Picture: Mick Young

‘That’s not in his nature, totally out of character, then he fell to the floor, I didn’t even put him there. If he had continued I would have put him back there, though!

‘Thankfully for him he realised the error of his ways and chose not to pursue it any more, so nothing else happened, despite what the camera may say.

‘The only negative side of what happened is if I had been wearing a Pompey strip, rather than that Mickey Mouse kit we had on, it would have given me even more kudos.

‘As it was, there were a few pubs in Portsmouth I visited afterwards and saw that they’d blown that picture right up and stuck it on the wall!’

Gavin Maguire and Franny Benali at the end of a bruising encounter at Southern Masters' 5-a-side tournament in Milton Keynes in 2003. Picture: Mick Young

Last month, Maguire Tweeted the infamous picture on social media in response to Ukraine conspiracy Tweets from Le Tissier.

The former Welsh international defender was a hospital porter at Swindon’s Great Western Hospital until 2021 and has since returned to hairdressing.

Yet during his time with the NHS, he witnessed at first hand the full horror of Covid.

He added: ‘Come and walk in my shoes when I was a hospital porter, Matt. Maybe you’d then think differently.

‘I would have to take people down to the mortuary who had unfortunately succumbed to it, while part of our job was also filling in the legal details about the deaths.

‘It’s only when he read the names that you realise “My God, I was just talking to them two days ago and they were fine”.

‘Some of the things he’s been saying are ridiculous.’

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