2 Sept 1982
Joey Barton is remembered by many as something of a hot head footballer with his career marred by incidents both on and off the pitch. In 2008 he would spend almost 3 of a 6 months sentence at Her Majesty’s pleasure after being found guilty of common assault and affray during an incident in Liverpool. In the same year he was given a 4 month suspended sentence for assault on a fellow player during a training ground bust up at Manchester City. Barton also managed to be sanctioned three times by the FA for on the field incidents, including attacking three players on the final day of the 2011/12 season. The number club fines he amassed were also nothing to be proud of, with one particularly unsavoury incident seeing him stub out a lit cigar in the eye of a youth team player. Add to this the breaking of a 35 year old mans leg when driving his car through Liverpool at 2am and being sent home from Thailand after assaulting a 15 year old Everton supporter. Well, you get the picture!
So when you understand this baggage that Joey carried with him, the fact that he continued to be hired by so many top flight clubs does indicate just how good a footballer he was, when a manager could actually get him playing of course. Let’s face it, a bang average professional would have been dropped by most clubs after one or two incident of this nature.
Playing for Manchester City for 5 seasons, he transferred to Newcastle United for £5.8m when he was signed by Sam Allardyce who’d long admired the combative and gifted Scoucer. His 4 years at Untied were also incident prone however. And whilst the off the field issues have already been highlighted, it was an incident when he heavily criticised Alan Shearer before Newcastle’s relegation in 2009 (calling the Newcastle legend ‘a **** manager with **** tactics’) having declared himself ‘the best player at the club’ that would leave a bitter taste for most Newcastle fans.
He then let his contract run down, allowing a free transfer to QPR in 2011.
He played a total of 81 league games for Newcastle, scoring 7 times. And put in some fantastic performances during this time. Something of a shame that his demons will taint the memory of his time in black and white for so many.
As well as QPR, Joey went on to play for Marseille, Burnley and Rangers in Scotland. He failed to win a single major honour in his career. The closest he came to claiming a hand in any major success was his role in helping City win their historic first Premier League title in the famous ‘Agueroooooooo….’ game. Barton being sent off early in the second half for QPR and giving City a man advantage.
Joey represented England U21 in the UEFA European Championship qualifiers before receiving his one full England Cap in a 1-0 defeat to Spain in 2007, coming on as a substitute for Frank Lampard.
Barton has, in his career been charged with gambling on football matches (something that is not allowed for registered footballers) whilst also admitted being an alcoholic during his time at City and Newcastle. His activity relating to gambling resulted in an 18 months ban from all football in April 2017.
In 2018 he took his first managerial role, taking on the job managing League One club Fleetwood. It wouldn’t take long for trouble to find him however when in 2019 he allegedly assaulted the Barnsley manager in the tunnel after a game. Joey will face a hearing on a charge of actual bodily harm in 2020.