- Full name: Joseph Barton
- Place of birth: Liverpool, England
- Height: 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)
- Weight: 70kg
Honours and Awards
- TEAM talk Soccer’s Villain of the Year: 2007
Newcastle United’s new signing, Joey Barton, is both one of England’s most exciting young midfield talents and one of the most controversial.
Trouble and unsavoury headlines have punctuated the former Manchester City star’s career with monotonous regularity. But Newcastle boss
Sam Allardyce sees his latest acquisition as a pivotal figure in his mission to bring silverware to Tyneside.
Joseph “Joey” Barton was born on 2nd September, 1982, in the Huyton district of Liverpool. His parents split up when he was 14, and he went to live
with his father at his grandmother’s house. Barton has said that if he had stayed with his mother he might not have “escaped the streets,” explaining
that in Huyton, the options were on the one hand to get out through sport or working hard at school, and on the other “loitering, crime, drugs and prison.”
He has paid tribute to his grandmother’s discipline for keeping him out of a lot of trouble on the streets, to his father (a roofer) for instilling a work
ethic into him, and to football for offering him a way to excel. Although Barton left school with 10 GCSEs, admits that he didn’t study as hard as he should
have because he knew football would be his life.
He said in an interview with The People newspaper: “I decided at a pretty early age that’s what I wanted and I wasn’t going to let anything stop me. I’ve
got the kind of mentality where I never do anything by halves. I just push myself until I’m the best I can be. In Huyton, if you let yourself get pushed
around, you’re finished. You have to have a toughness and a determination to fight for everything you can.
Barton represented his school at seven or eight different sports, but pushed himself all the way when it came to football. He joined Manchester City
as a YTS trainee and made his first team debut against Bolton Wanderers on 5th April 2003. His first senior goal was scored in a 2-0 away win at Tottenham
on Good Friday, and he ended his first season with a run of seven consecutive starts in the City midfield.
He began the 2003-04 season as a first team regular, being tipped as one of football’s future stars. After scoring his second Premiership goal (against Blackburn Rovers),
he was called up to the England Under-21 squad for their Euro qualifiers against FYR Macedonia and Portugal.
In September 2004, he signed a new three-year contract with Manchester City, but in early 2006, the club tried to extend that contract beyond the 18 months remaining
on it, and offered him £28,000 per week. Guided by his agent Willie McKay, Barton thought he was worth more, and on 30th January 2006 he handed in a written transfer
request . The following day (the last day of that particular transfer window), City rejected an offer from Middlesbrough for the player, and then-manager Stuart Pearce
insisted that a way could still be found to keep Barton at Eastlands.
During the next week, Barton admitted that requesting a transfer had been the wrong decision, and apologised to the club. Further speculation about his future appeared
to have been ended on 25th July 2006 when he signed a new four-year deal with City.