Barton A One-Man Riot

In England, apparently, it isn’t OK to get way too drunk and fight everyone in sight. Who knew?

Newcastle United midfielder Joey Barton will be serving six months in jail for his role in a Dec. 27, 2007 assault that left one man with facial injuries and a teenager with broken teeth. Barton’s brother, accused of throwing food at one man, and cousin also pleaded guilty ro lesser offenses stemming from the melee.

From reading his Wikipedia entry, Barton “has a fiery temper and occasionally gets into on-field confrontations.” Funny. He must save his real fire for his off-field confrontations because the guy’s had more scrapes with the law than Pacman Jones. I know. Can you believe it?

His personal bio in a laundry list of assaults and something called “affrays.” That said, he gets into a lot of fist-fights with opposing fans, teammates, passerby; just about anyone he is near or around.

Barton allegedly stubbed out a lit cigar in a youth players’ eye in Dec. 2004, broke a pedestrian’s leg with his car in May 2005, fought with a taxi cab driver in March 2007 and assaulted a former teammate in May 2007.

He was on bail and awaiting trial for the latter two alleged offenses when he decided to fight Liverpool locals last December. In that brawl, at a McDonald’s, Barton was caught on TV tackling and then punching a man more than 15 times in the head before turning his attention to a 16-year-old and punching out his teeth.

Reportedly, he had consumed more than 10 pints and several bottles of lager during a night out on the ‘toon. Barton has since admitted to having a problem with alcohol. Might his first clue have been his decision to fight everyone at a McDonald’s? Maybe. Or maybe the admission was borne from the fear of not being retained by Newcastle following his jail term. Either way, Barton has six months to sit and think it over.

After that, he’ll probably down a pint or five at the pub with his club manager, tell a few crude jokes, pose for some photos with fans and he’ll be on his way. Just don’t call him a drunk. He really hates that.

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