Liverpool - QPR's volatile captain Joey Barton was punched in the face outside a Liverpool nightclub in the early hours of Monday.
midfielder was involved in a fight with two men, and a picture of the
incident, apparently showing a shirtless Barton being held back by
police and a woman, appeared on Twitter.
A Merseyside Police
spokesperson said on Monday: "Merseyside Police were called to Eberle
Street in Liverpool city centre at 05:30 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.
21-year-old men from the L13 area were arrested at the scene for a
public order offence. They are currently in police custody."
Taylor, a spokesperson for QPR, added: "Joey Barton was involved in an
incident in Liverpool city centre in the early hours of Monday morning.
was on his way home from a night out with his girlfriend when two men
sang offensive chants and then proceeded to hit the R's midfielder.
"Police were immediately on the scene and arrested one man.
decided not to press charges and left the scene with his girlfriend
soon after. The club will be making no further comment."
Barton has a long history of controversy on and off the pitch and has
become well-known for his voicing his opinions about football and the
world at large on Twitter.
In 2004, Barton, then playing for
Manchester City, hit the headlines after he stubbed out a cigar in the
eye of apprentice Jamie Tandy.
His time at City also included an
ugly incident when he left team-mate Ousmane Dabo looking like "the
elephant man" after a training ground brawl.
Barton was given a six-month jail term in 2008 after admitting assault and affray during an incident in Liverpool.
month, he was given a 12-match ban by the Football Association (FA),
after being sent off during QPR's defeat at Manchester City on the final
day of the Premier League season.
His future at QPR remains in
doubt as the club are also carrying out an internal investigation into
the incident at City, which saw him elbow Carlos Tevez, kick out at
Serio Aguero and then attempt to headbutt Vincent Kompany.