Early Doors

Joey Barton begins philosophy degree at Roehampton

Early Doors

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Queens Park Rangers midfielder Joey Barton likes to portray himself as an intellectual but to his credit at least he is doing something about expanding his mind.

The 31-year-old has signed up to do a degree at the University of Roehampton in South West London and those who follow him on Twitter won't be surprised to learn that his chosen subject is philosophy.

Barton often quotes his favourite philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche on the social networking site when he muses about the workings of the world.

Barton had hoped to move back to France in the summer with Marseille, who he spent most of last season on loan with, but has instead impressed in the Championship, helping QPR to top the table.

Barton announced on Twitter that he was about to attend his first lecture.

He wrote: "Off to my first lecture this afternoon. Eyes peeled, ears open, brain engaged."

Here are five more clever footballers that Barton can take inspiration from.

Frank Lampard

The Chelsea star passed 12 GCSEs, including an A* in Latin, while at Brentwood School. He apparently has an IQ above 150 - that's higher than Carol Vorderman's, and is enough to qualify for Mensa.

Iain Dowie

The wannabe striker had all but given up hope of becoming a professional footballer after being rejected by Southampton as a 16-year-old, so began to study at the University of Hertfordshire for a master's degree in Aeronautical Engineering. On completion of his degree he went to work for British Aerospace - literally as a rocket scientist - before Luton Town scouts spotted him playing for a non-league side and tempted him into football. He used motivational books like 'Beyond Winning' and 'Chicken Soup for the Soul' in his managerial career.

Brian McClair

Or 'Brain' McClair, as his former team-mates used to call him. The striker earned a degree in maths from Glasgow University while playing for Motherwell, and claimed it gave him a "grounding outside football" when he went on to become a star for Celtic and Manchester United.

Jean Tigana
The former France international turned manager used to smatter his team talks with bons mots from the greats of French literature while in charge of Fulham. One player, on seeing Tigana reading a book by Marcel Proust, reportedly exclaimed: "Proust? I thought he was a Formula One driver."

Clarke Carlisle

The former Burnley defender and PFA chairman was the winner of a 'Britain's brainiest footballer' competition back in 2002. He even went on Channel 4's iconic afternoon quiz Countdown two years ago, winning two days in a row. (He is not the first footballer to go on Countdown, however: that was former Notts County star Neil MacKenzie in 2008, who won five shows in a row but got knocked out in the quarter-finals.) Carlisle's brains helped him earn a guest slot on Question Time but he blotted his copybook severely in 2011 when he was caught drink driving. Not so clever.

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