Joey Barton punched in the head outside gay nightclub

Joey has a helpful conversation with a friendly police officer (Twitter)
Joey has a helpful conversation with a friendly police officer (Twitter)

UPDATE: Despite thanking police for being "brilliant" on his Twitter earlier today, Barton has now been arrested for this incident. More details below the fold.

When Joey Barton announced his commitment to pacifism, DT assumed his days of stubbing out cigars in teammates eyes and violently attacking teenagers on the street were over. But when he went postal on the final day of the season, it was clear he had returned to his feral ways. The QPR midfielder — currently serving a 12-match ban due to his antics at Eastlands — was involved in another skirmish while exiting 'gay-friendly super club' Garlands in Liverpool city centre. The Mirror reports:

Joey Barton has revealed he was "sucker punched in the back of the head" in a fight outside a Liverpool nightclub in the early hours of Monday morning.

[..] A Merseyside Police spokeswoman said: "Merseyside Police were called to Eberle Street in Liverpool city centre at 5.30am this morning following reports of an altercation.

"On arrival officers found a 29-year-old man who had sustained injuries to his face. The man left the scene voluntarily."

Quite why Barton is exiting the evening establishment without a shirt is unclear, but eye witness reports suggest he was "physically removed" from the premises shortly before the attack. The woman accompanying Barton in the picture above, which is circulating on Twitter, is understood to be his soon-to-be-long-suffering girlfriend Georgia McNeil.

Barton has played down the attack on Twitter, claiming he merely has a small bruise on the back of his head. He also mentioned that he does not plan to press charges on the person who is to blame for the attack. Probably because the person to blame is named Joey Barton.

UPDATE: Four men have now been arrested following this incident, including Joey Barton, who is now in police custody for questioning. A Merseyside Police statement reads:

"Following an altercation in Eberle Street, Liverpool city centre, in the early hours of this morning, four men have been arrested on suspicion of affray.

"Two 21-year-old men were arrested at the scene in the early hours of this morning and another two men, a 20-year-old from the Liverpool area and 29-year-old from the Widnes area, were arrested this afternoon.

"The two 21-year-old men and the 20-year-old man have been questioned by officers and have been released on bail pending further inquiries.

"The 29-year-old man remains in police custody where he will be questioned by detectives."