Family of Anthony Walker damn Joey Barton's 'f***ing scrap' comment

Family of Anthony Walker tear apart Joey Barton’s description of his brother’s racially-motivated murder of the teenager as ‘a f***ing scrap’ – after former Bristol Rovers boss appeared to play down how serious the 2005 ice-axe killing was

  • The foundation’s CEO stressed that the only loss had been Walker, ‘forever’ 
  • Michael was paroled in September 2022 after his life sentence was reduced
  • Pressure is easing on Man United boss Erik ten Hag: Listen to It’s All Kicking Off

The Anthony Walker Foundation – named after the teenager murdered by Joey Barton’s brother Michael in 2005 and created by his family – has poured scorn on the former Bristol Rovers boss’ description of his sibling’s part in the killing as a ‘f***ing scrap’ in a clip from an upcoming podcast appearance. 

Michael – whose brother featured for Manchester City at the time of Walker’s murder – was released from prison in September 2022 having served 17 years of a life sentence for his part in killing the black 18-year-old in McGoldrick Park in Liverpool. 

Walker was returning home with his girlfriend Louisa Thompson and cousin Marcus Binns when Michael – accompanied by his cousin Paul Taylor – began hurling racist epithets at Walker, saying: ‘walk, n*****, walk’ as the trio passed by. 

The pair later stalked and ambushed Walker and Taylor drove an ice axe in his skull which left the teenager brain-dead within moments. 

Barton appeared to play down the severity of his brother’s crime in promotional material for his appearance on the podcast ‘Anything Goes with James English’, as he stressed how his brother had lost ’17 years of his life’ after being imprisoned for his role in a ‘f***ing scrap’. 

A promotional clip for Joey Barton’s appearance on a new podcast appeared to show him downplay his brother’s role in the racially-motivated killing of Anthony Walker

Michael Barton (left) was jailed for a minimum term of 17 years and 8 months after racially abusing and ambushing Anthony Walker (right) before he was struck with an ice axe

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But Kaushik Mistry, the foundation’s CEO, rubbished the idea that Michael had ‘lost’ years of his life as he issued a damning statement which underscored that Walker’s life had been lost ‘forever’. 

‘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,’ Mistry’s statement read. 

‘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. 

‘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.’

The statement continued: ‘It saddens us that someone with his reach and status would seem to trivialize 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.’

As the clip gained traction on social media platform X, formerly Twitter, a number of users highlighted the insensitivity of Barton’s description of racist assault that preceded Walker’s ambush and murder a ‘scrap’, labelling his description as ‘disgusting’. 

During his trial, Michael stated that he believed he was the victim of the murder, and said that he bore no responsibility for Walker’s death. 

Presiding judge Lord Justice Leveson said that the cousins had perpetrated a ‘terrifying ambush’ and a ‘racist attack of a type poisonous to any civilised society’. 

After being sentenced to a minimum term of 17 years and 8 months, Michael’s initial behaviour in prison made him a ‘high risk’ prisoner, and he was disciplined for offences including fighting, stealing, and possessing illicit hooch. 

However, in 2016 the London High Court heard that his behaviour and attitude had improved dramatically, and his sentence was reduced by eight months. 

Barton previously discussed his brother’s role in the killing and subsequent imprisonment in his book 

Walker’s mother Gee was described as a ‘woman of immense dignity’ by Barton in 2016 tome

Granted parole by the Parole Board in September last year, Michael was released just over two years after a BBC drama was made about the life of the devoutly Christian Walker following a collaboration between his mother Gee and screenwriter Jimmy McGovern. 

Barton, who grew up in a different household to his brother, and at the time described himself as ‘sickened’ by Michael’s actions whilst urging him to come forward after fleeing the country. 

In his 2016 book ‘No Nonsense’, the former Bristol Rovers manager discussed the murder, and singled out the strength shown by Gee, calling Walker’s mother as ‘a woman of immense dignity, incredible tolerance, immeasurable moral courage and inspirational goodness’. 

He stated that he cannot ‘forget or forgive’ the actions of Taylor, and believed that both men ‘deserved their sentences’, as well as wondering if he ‘could have done any more to prevent’ Walker’s murder. 


It’s All Kicking Off is an exciting new podcast from Mail Sport that promises a different take on Premier League football, launching with a preview show today and every week this season.

It is available on MailOnline, Mail+, YouTube , Apple Music and Spotify

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