Joey Barton reveals biting an Irish legend during a bar-room brawl in his new autobiography
By all accounts, Joey Barton has never been one to discriminate in choosing foes to engage in savage acts of violence with, and his newly released autobiography reveals a particular bout of fisticuffs that will be of great interest to Irish football fans.
A cynic might say that Joey Barton timed the recent training ground spat with Rangers manager Mark Warburton and his fellow players to coincide with the release of his new autobiography, 'No Nonsense', which went on sale today.
Perhaps it was one last attempt to boost sales of a book that is unlikely to have many dull moments. To put it mildly, the 34-year-old is a divisive figure, and the account of his life is hardly going to change that.
One of the more eye-catching extracts currently in circulation involves Barton and former Republic of Ireland defender Richard Dunne during their time together at Manchester City.
The incident took place in Thailand in 2007, when Dunne was club captain. According to Barton, they were both inebriated after consuming a substantial amount of wine which, he claims, was Dunne’s suggestion.
Barton had slapped the 15 year-old son of an Everton fan who, he contends, first kicked him in the shin. The boy’s father sought the Dubliner to discipline Barton and, from there, the scene took a nefarious turn.
“(The boy's dad) slipped away to complain to Dunney, whom he recognised from his time at Everton. I went back to my pint, and was soon confronted by the 'Honey Monster', who was as buried in the booze as I was.
“'Fucking get over there now and apologise!'” he screamed. "I declined.
"Dunney grabbed me by the throat, and pushed me back against the wall. He was raging, oblivious to my warning that he had precisely two seconds to let me go. He was bigger and stronger than me, so wrestling was out of the question.
“I turned feral, and sank my teeth into his fist as hard as I could. He roared, let me loose, and involuntarily looked down to see that I had drawn blood.
“I rugby tackled him before he could react, pushing him backwards across the room. Bystanders were bulldozed out of the way, human skittles in bizarre game of bar billiards. Our momentum took us over some steps and into a secondary tier, where Dunney crashed through a glass coffee table.”
When all was said and done, the Tallaght man was the recipient of a broken foot but was soon exonerated for his part in the melee by then manager Stuart Pearce in a subsequent statement.
“Richard Dunne's behaviour was exemplary. All I can say is I feel a little bit sorry for Richard Dunne for probably being tarred with the same brush.
“I want to make it quite clear that after our inquiries this morning Richard Dunne's got nothing to do with this, except as acting as a peacemaker in this situation.”