Not short of thought and opinion, Joey Barton let us inside his world as part of SoccerBible Magazine Issue 4 - the 'Mavericks & Disruptors' issue. From the inquisitive mind of a passionate fan and professional player, it's a compelling insight.

A passionate soul, he is man that the tabloid press has jabbed more swipes at than punches Floyd Mayweather has landed, it's fair to say he's been through more public battles than most. The difference being, this opponent is standing strong on his feet, embracing the lessons learnt and the experience gained. A maverick or disruptor? He doesn't “give a sh*t”.

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“It was definitely the Italia 90 World Cup. I had the sticker book; it was the first time I was really interested in the kit, really interested in the players and what boots the players had on.” Barton recalls his earliest footballing memories. “I think the whole thing about Cameroon in that tournament [stands out] – they beat Argentina early on and Roger Milla captivated everyone.”

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Barton's career is one that has been peppered with controversy; like many, he has had his demons. On the pitch scuffles, off the pitch jail-time – the picture painted is one of a menace. However the truth is there to see. Proving to be a commanding player, captaining Premier League sides, he has defied many a doubter. There’s far more between the ears than the cannon fodder-filled papers might lead you to believe.

“I remember Mrs Swift at Beckets (St Thomas Becket High School) – she wanted me to be in the school play, so I went [along] because there were a few decent girls in it. All of a sudden she wanted me to be lead role in Oliver Twist, and I was like, ‘Miss I'm too cool, I'm not getting up and singing in front of the whole school and all that.’” A consumer of culture, his image is diverse. “At the time I was building a bit of a reputation [as] a tough tackling kind of local hard man on the football pitch, and I think being in the school play might have ruined my brand.”

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A brand that has been through the wash several times over, Barton is an example of defying convention in modern game. Having been told at a young age that he wouldn't fit the mould or, more specifically, the height of a professional player, he broke the norm, eventually rising through youth academy ranks.

A genuine conversation that goes from the very start right through to his thoughts on the modern game, the fashion of football and the cultural touch points that inspire his thought process - it even took in an impromptu kick about. It's an educated and experienced opinion that is of intriguing appeal.

Read the full 12 page feature with Joey Barton in Issue 4 here.