Barton could have been an Iron

Last updated : 04 January 2006 By Luke Thornhill
Barton joined United on trial on August 2002, with then City boss Kevin Keegan willing to let the player go out on loan to get first-team experience.

But his playing career for the Iron lasted just 15 minutes, as he was knocked out in the early stages of his first and only appearance for the reserve team against Scarborough.

Laws told the Scunthorpe Telegraph: "There was a ball in the air that Joey challenged for, and he ended up being knocked out cold with blood coming from an ear.

"It was panic stations for us, and we had him rushed straight to hospital in Scarborough.

"When he came round he had no memory at all of what happened, he didn't know who we were and why he was wearing a Scunthorpe United shirt.

"The doctors ruled him out of playing football for six weeks, we hoped to bring him back for another look but things started to happen quickly for him at City."