The day football bad boy Joey Barton was 'strangled' in Doncaster

Mark Albrighton was pictured with his hands around the throat of football bad boy Joey Barton.
Mark Albrighton was pictured with his hands around the throat of football bad boy Joey Barton.

He's never been far from controversy - and football bad boy Joey Barton once endured one of his most infamous moments on the pitch in Doncaster.

Barton, who was unveiled as the new manager of League One side Fleetwood Town earlier this week, has been involved in a string of controversial incidents both on and off the football field during a stormy career.

But it was in the summer of 2004 when the football star met his match on sunny afternoon at Doncaster Rovers' former Belle Vue ground.

It was July 24 and Doncaster Rovers were taking on Barton's then team, Manchester City, in a friendly in front of a packed crowd.

Bossed by Armthorpe born Kevin Keegan, the match was supposed to be a relatively calm pre-season curtain raiser for both sides.

But the match proved to be anything but, with Barton sparking a ten man brawl, narrowly avoiding a red card - but still being hauled off at half time by a fuming Keegan.

In an infamous photo of the melee, which you can see HERE, tough no-nonsense Rovers' defender Mark Albrighton was pictured with his hands around Barton's throat as players waded in - much to the delight of Rovers supporters.

The brawl was sparked by Barton hacking at Paul Green - but he'd already been involved in several flashpoints with other Rovers players prior to the incident.

Barton clashed with Rovers' skipper John Doolan in the opening minutes of the 1-1 draw and then launched into Green as he attempted to shield the ball between his legs.

Barton was yellow-carded, along with Rovers goalscorer Leo Fortune-West for a retaliatory tackle which left the City midfielder limping.

But Barton was hauled off the pitch by an angry Keegan at half-time following his clash with Albrighton, nicknamed The Sarge by Rovers fans for his touch-tackling demeanour.

Keegan said: "I told him the truth - you either play football or you come off. There is no choice.

"If we had been away from home in the Premiership and he did that, he would have been sent off."

Keegan said: "He thinks he can look after himself but when you get in this division and start doing things like that, people sort you out - and that's what they did.

"I don't want to stop him being tenacious but I do want him focused on what football is all about.

"I have a problem with any player who just wants to go out and be physical all the time. There is no future in that.

"He has a nasty knock but hopefully he will learn from it because if he wants to fight, there are a lot of pretty tough players out there."

He has also faced three Football Association charges for violent conduct – one for attacking three Manchester City players on the final day of the 2011-12 season when he was at QPR, resulting in a 12-match ban.

City also considered sacking Barton for stubbing out a lit cigar in youth player Jamie Tandy’s eye in December 2004; and, he had to be restrained by a team-mate for attacking a teenage Everton fan on a pre-season tour to Thailand.

He was also sentenced to six months’ imprisonment in May 2008 for common assault and affray during an incident in Liverpool city centre.

And he was given a four-month suspended sentence in July 2008 after admitting assault occasioning actual bodily harm on former team-mate Ousmane Dabo during a training ground dispute in May 2007.