Barton signs for The Big Issue

THE controversial footballer, Joey Barton, has given an exclusive to The Big Issue magazine, ahead of signing up as a columnist, starting this year.

Considered by many to be a much reformed character, following a spell behind bars, Barton is pictured, naked, on the front cover of the magazine, which announced in June it was going UK-wide, operating out of Glasgow.

Barton is currently playing for QPR.

He is quoted in the magazine, as saying: “Behind the façade is an emotionally vulnerable little boy putting on a big show.

“I look back and know that I would not be the man that I am nor the father [his partner Georgie is eight months pregnant] I am going to be if I hadn’t completely f***** up my life at a very young age. I’m fortunate that I was able to turn it around.”

Says The Big Issue editor, Paul McNamee: “Joey Barton is a divisive character. To some, he’s an ex-jailbird thug, to some a redeemed footballing hero. Whichever way, he’s one of the biggest stories in sport this year. He also has almost 900,000 followers on Twitter who eagerly follow his pronouncements on everything from Nietzsche to TOWIE.

“We’re delighted he has chosen to give one of his first in-depth print interviews to The Big Issue rather than any number of other papers and magazines who have been in the chase for him. It says a lot of where the Big Issue is now and also of where Joey Barton wants to be.”

His column for The Big Issue will begin in mid January.