A PREMIER League footballer who lives in Widnes was arrested following a fight outside a Liverpool nightclub over the Bank Holiday weekend.
Queens Park Rangers midfielder Joey Barton, 29, who has a house in the Upton Rocks area, was involved in an early-hours bust up while on a night out with his girlfriend.
After the incident outside Garlands nightclub, Barton, who is well known for his opinionated Twitter outbursts, tweeted: “I got sucker punched in the back of the head. Not injured as reported just a small bruise on rear of head/ear. I’ve had worse.
“Life goes on! Thanks for the concern. Have a good day people.”
Later he tweeted: “Not planning on pressing charges as it’s not that serious. The police have also got better things to do with their time.
“Can I just say a public thanks to the police last night as they were, and have been today, brilliant.”
Police arrested two 21-year-old men from Liverpool at the scene and they were taken for questioning before being released on bail.
Then on Monday afternoon Barton and another man, aged 20, were also arrested.
A picture showing a shirtless Barton and his visibly upset girlfriend had also been published on Twitter earlier in the day.
The controversial footballer is under investigation by QPR after he was given a 12-match ban by the Football Association. He was banned by English football’s governing body after being sent off during QPR’s defeat at Manchester City on the final day of Premier League season. During the match he elbowed one Manchester City player, kicked out at a second and attempted to headbutt a third.
On Monday night Merseyside police confirmed a 29-year-old man from the Widnes area had been arrested on suspicion of affray and was questioned. He was later bailed.
A statement from the force said: “Merseyside Police can confirm that the 29-year-old man arrested on suspicion of affray has been released on bail pending further inquiries.”
An earlier statement said: “Police were called to Eberle Street in Liverpool city centre at 5.30am 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.”
In a statement released before Barton’s arrest QPR spokesman Ian Taylor said: “Joey Barton was involved in an incident in Liverpool city centre in the early hours of Monday morning.
“Barton was on his way home from a night out with his girlfriend when two men sang offensive chants and then proceeded to hit the QPR midfielder.”
The club declined to comment further following news of the arrest of their player.