Joey Barton accused of ‘bullying’ 17 year old goalkeeper as dad hits back | Football | Sport


Former Manchester City and Newcastle player Joey Barton has been accused of “bullying” a 17-year-old goalkeeper by her father, a seven-time world kickboxing champion. Ava Easdon was in goal for Partick Thistle Women during their SWPL Cup final against Rangers Women on Sunday, which ended in a 4-1 defeat and was broadcast live on Sky Sports.

A video of Rangers’ first goal, where Ava failed to stop a shot, went viral on social media. Barton, 41, joined in the criticism, retweeting the video and commenting: “I mean let’s just talk about the goalie! How is this nonsense on the box?” Ava’s father, Lex Easdon, hit back at Barton’s remarks, saying: “In 2024 and ‘grown’ men still feel the need to belittle and bully a 17-year-old school kid, who doesn’t get paid to play.”

He added: “She has moved up from youth level straight into SWPL1, just starting out her journey. She’s made a mistake in her positioning 13 minutes into a cup final.”

One online user criticised Barton: “@Joey7Barton my daughter is young enough to be your daughter and you playing up to all your young fan boys won’t go down well with your daughters when they’re old enough to see all the s*** you spout on social media. Top class role model there, mate.”

Easdon became a part of Partick Thistle in the summer, joining them on loan from Glasgow City. She quickly made her mark as their No 1 goalkeeper. The young starlet, who has represented Scotland at junior levels, was at the goal post for Partick Thistle when they successfully thwarted Rangers last month.

The game ended without any goals, thanks to Easdon’s significant contribution in disrupting Rangers’ 13-game winning streak. Rangers dominated possession with over 80% hold and managed six shots on target, but couldn’t outwit Easdon. Her stellar performance saw her named as Partick Thistle’s player of the month for February.

The social media user who first shared the clip commented: “Jesus Christ that goalkeeping is like yer man at 5s who doesn’t even try to save it because he wants back outfield.”

Yet, later that person stated in regards to any potential conflict with women’s football: “Lots of people using this as a dog against all women’s football which is unfair. That is just bad goalkeeping like Barkas vs West Ham. Also I don’t give a f*** what that plumb Joey Barton would think he looked like a competition winner in the SPFL.”

Barton, who had one cap for England in his playing days, has courted controversy in recent months by attacking female players and commentators. He also recently weighed in on the divisive new England kit, which features a colour change to the St George’s Cross.

The 41-year-old made his feelings clear on Nike’s decision by praising England Under-21 star Harvey Elliott, who appeared to hide the Cross on the back of the shirt by playing with his collar up. ‘Proper kid,’ the former England international wrote on X. ‘Knows how disrespectful that Woke nonsense is. Well done Harvey.’

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