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John Hartson hugs Eyal Berkovic in Israel - 17 years after kicking him in the head

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John Hartson and Eyal Berkovic in Israel and (right) the kick 17 years ago

At one stage it looked unlikely they would ever be in each other's company again.

When video of a training ground incident that showed John Hartson kicking Eyal Berkovic in the head surfaced in 1998 the footballing world was shocked.

But 17 years after the ugly episode, and the very public make-up that followed, the West Ham team-mates were all smiles at an unlikely reunion on Friday.

Hartson, reportedly in Israel to speak to a journalist, bumped into Berkovic in his native country and posted a photo of the pair on Twitter along with the message: "Just caught up with this little play maker.. Nice lunch in Haifa! Mr Berkovic."

Speaking about the incident last year, Hartson told the BBC: "Even today it is the biggest regret of my career. I was 20 years of age. I was very boisterous, probably a little bit angry. I'd left Arsenal in 1997 and they went on to win the double in 1998.

"Eyal Berkovic was a good lad and to this day I don't know why I reacted the way I did. It was nothing personal against Eyal. It could have been anyone of the players on the training ground that day."

Telegraph.co.uk