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C Palace 15:00 Man City

Things get shirty for City starlet

By Graeme Bailey.   Last Updated: 25/11/02 8:09pm

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MANCHESTER CITY starlet Joey Barton missed his chance to make his Premiership debut as he could not find his shirt.

The 18-year-old made his first appearance on the Citizens substitutes bench for their game with Middlesbrough and manager Kevin Keegan was ready to give him his top-flight bow.

However, it all went wrong when it came to putting on his number 41 shirt as Barton could not find it - he had taken it off before half time and left it on the bench, only to find it had disappeared.

Premiership rules now state a player needs a correct number to take the field and so he could not wear a blank shirt.

"Joey couldn't find his shirt so I couldn't put him on," said Keegan.

"Apparently he put it down at half-time, went to the dressing room with a vest on and when he came back he couldn't find it.

"It's unbelievable that we only brought him one shirt.

"I was going to give him some experience, but that's life, though he should know better coming from Liverpool."

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