| 12.3°C Dublin

Barton can shave face with victory

Joey Barton is particularly keen for Newcastle to shock Manchester United in their Premier League opener on Monday night.

The former Manchester City midfielder is never short of motivation ahead of a trip to Old Trafford, but this time that includes the fact he will be able to shave off his moustache.

A challenge between several Toon players ended with Barton agreeing to keep his new facial hair until the club have won their first game in their return to the top flight.

The 27-year-old said: "It started out with about eight of us getting together and we were saying to each other, 'you couldn't grow a beard'. One thing led to another and before I knew it, I'd agreed to grow a moustache. It could be here for a while longer if we don't get off to a good start -- but hopefully it'll be gone soon. It's got a bit of flak and a few people have said it's ridiculous."