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01st Dec 2023

Joey Barton slammed for calling his brother’s racially-motivated murder of teen ‘a scrap’

Callum Boyle

Joey Barton

Barton’s comments have caused lots of anger

Joey Barton has been accused of “lacking sensitivity” after he described the racially-motivated murder of teenager Anthony Walker as a “scrap”.

His brother Michael Barton and cousin Paul Taylor were jailed for life in 2005 after a “terrifying ambush” which saw them kill the 18-year-old with an ice axe.

In an upcoming interview with James English on the Anything Goes podcast Barton – who was playing for Manchester City at the time – played down the severity of the crime and opted to pin the blame on his cousin.

He said: “My brother lost 17 years of his life from 17.

“Because his mate who was his cousin at the time thought it would be a fantastic idea when they were having a f***ing scrap to pull an ice axe out, and swing it into somebody, and he’s stuck it into somebody’s head.”

Joey Barton
Anthony Walker// Credit: The Anthony Walker Foundation

The clip, which has gone viral on social media, has been widely condemned and The Anthony Walker Foundation, a charity set up in 2006 to try and eradicate racism, hate and discrimination, has said his comments were “factually incorrect”.

A statement from the charity said: “The Anthony Walker Foundation has become aware of an excerpt from a James English podcast featuring Joey Barton, wherein he refers to the murder of Anthony Walker by his brother Michael.

“We consider his description of Anthony’s murder as factually incorrect, lacking in any sensitivity given the serious nature of the incident, in which Anthony Walker tragically lost his life to a violent racially motivated attack by Mr Barton’s brother and his cousin Paul Taylor.”

It continued to say: “This year is the eighteenth anniversary of Anthony’s murder, so we express our hope that Mr Barton will reflect on the impact of his words and the profound significance of the actions of his brother as he walks the street a free man. It is worth noting that Michael Barton did not lose 17 years of his life, the only life lost that day was Anthony’s and not for 17 years, but forever.

“It saddens us that someone with his reach and status would seem to trivialise the incident that led to such an outcome and heap further pain and suffering upon the family and friends of Anthony.

“The Anthony Walker Foundation will continue to strive for a more inclusive world where such an incident never reoccurs. Our charity will continue to tackle racism, hate crime and discrimination by providing educational opportunities and victim support services and by promoting equity and inclusion for all.”

After the murder, both Michael and Taylor had gone on the run, leading to Barton pleading for the pair to come back.

Michael Barton had denied killing Anthony but was found guilty of murder. Taylor had admitted his part in the killing.

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