Interview – Warren Barton

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The United Mates Keitel and Joe are joined by former Wimbledon “Crazy Gang”, Newcastle United and England international footballer Warren Barton, to discuss the ups and downs of his fantastic playing career, as well as to chat about what Warren is up to these days on the West Coast of the United States like working on TV for FOX Sports and coaching youth soccer in his local San Diego.

Icebreaker:

Warren is good mates with Vinnie Jones from their days playing for Wimbledon’s “Crazy Gang”; given Vinnie’s Hollywood ties and Warren’s career on TV in the states, today’s icebreaker for the group is: “If you were in a buddy cop show with one footballer as your partner, who would it be and would they be the good cop or the bad cop?”

Warren has thoughts on the suitability of the likes of Vinnie, David Ginola and even Alan Shearer as his potential sidekick.

On Warren’s Childhood and his Life Today:

Warren grew up as an Arsenal fan because that’s who his dad supported, his older brother was a keen footballer like Warren and so the two of them would spend most of their free time during childhood playing 1 vs 1 on full sized grass pitches or out and about practicing their technique by kicking a tennis ball against brick walls in their neighborhood.

These days, Warren Barton is living in San Diego where he’s been working as an on-air personality for FOX Sports. Warren tells us why the time was right for him to move to the States after retiring from playing as opposed to joining the MLS project during the twilight of his career.

Warren is currently involved in youth soccer coaching in the San Diego area and when he first moved to the West Coast he had a stint managing the San Diego Flash in the NPSL, however he still harbors strong ambitions to return to coaching and management at a high level; he tells us about some opportunities he’s put himself forward for recently.

On his Start at Maidstone and Moving to Wimbledon:

During Warren’s days at Maidstone United he was also working in the mail room for an American law firm in London and travelling to and from training on a moped bike. His performances for Maidstone caught the eye of many top clubs including Wimbledon who payed a then record fee (for a transfer of a player from the 4 division to the top flight) for Barton.

Warren tells us about his time with the “Crazy Gang” and what it was like to be a part of the most widely feared team in England at the time. He also shares anecdotes about training ground pranks like having car tires slashed and clothes set on fire, as well as telling the story of the time he nearly had his arm broken by John Fashanu for being too nice on the pitch.

On moving to Newcastle, Kevin Keegan and the “Entertainers”:

Warren tells us about his decision to move up north to join Newcastle United side and how he was convinced to do so by a meeting with the passionate and inspirational Kevin Keegan. At the time Warren had offers from and discussions with clubs like Arsenal, Manchester City and others but felt that Tyneside was the place for him.

Having been a part of the infamous Newcastle side that let a large lead slip at the top of the Premier League table to Manchester United, Warren tells about about the faltering end to their season that ultimately cost them winners medals and gives his opinion on THAT famous Kevin Keegan “I will love it” moment.

On his Three Lions Debut:

Warren was called up to Terry Venables’ England squad to play the Republic of Ireland in 1995, a fixture that would later become known as the scene of “The Lansdowne Road Football Riot” as the game was abandoned after a riot broke out between English and Irish fans. Warren talks us through the emotions he felt that night, having gone from making his debut for his country one moment to all of a sudden being surrounded by a violent brawl.

On the Latter Stages of his Playing Career:

After leaving Newcastle, Warren joined Derby County who would unfortunately be relegated at the end of the season. The problems didn’t stop there at Derby and Warren tells us about pitching in wherever he could to help deal with the constant drama going on behind the scenes at the club. After briefly joining QPR he then returned to his old team Wimbledon, who themselves were in the middle of an extremely tough period as the club was moving to Milton Keynes and beginning to lose its identity before the supporters’ very own eyes. Warren ended his playing career where it began as a trainee, Dagenham.

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