On this day in 2004: Joey Barton says sorry after Christmas party incident

PA Sport Staff
·1-min read

Joey Barton personally apologised to Manchester City manager Kevin Keegan on this day in 2004 after an incident at the club’s Christmas party the previous weekend.

Barton was fined six weeks’ wages and was reportedly at risk of the sack after he burnt the eyelid of academy product Jamie Tandy with a cigar during the club’s fancy-dress party at a city-centre nightclub.

The 20-year-old had taken exception to Barton’s behaviour at the party and attempted to set fire to his clothing, prompting Barton – who was dressed as Jimmy Savile – to thrust his cigar into Tandy’s face.

Tandy suffered minor burns and was treated at hospital, and was still suffering with blurred vision two days later.

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City boss Kevin Keegan said hearing Barton’s personal apology was more important than his public statement (Phil Noble/PA)

Barton issued a public apology on December 23, but Keegan said he was more interested in hearing from the player personally – something which happened a day later.

“It is one thing hearing the statement read out yesterday,” Keegan said. “What meant much more was to see him stand in front of me in a room and hear him say how upset and sorry he was.”

It was one of a string of disciplinary issues during Barton’s time at City, the club where he began his professional career, and he later underwent anger-management training.

In May 2007 he was arrested and questioned by Greater Manchester Police after being accused of assaulting team-mate Ousmane Dabo during a training-ground fracas – an incident which effectively ended his City career as he moved to Newcastle later that summer.