Tag Archives: barton

Happy 7th birthday, Twitter! Highs and lows in sport

Happy 7th birthday, Twitter! Highs (and lows) since the micro-blogging site changed the way we interact with sports stars

Olympics.
267,200 tweets per minute after Juan Mata scored for Spain in the Euro 2012 final victory Italy.
13.7m tweets during the Super Bowl when the New York Giants defeated the New England Patriots 21-17.
184,535 tweets per minute when Fernando
Torres equalised against Barcelona to send Chelsea heading towards the
2012 Champions League final.

Torres torrent: The Chelsea striker's goal against Barcelona prompted a flood of tweets


Torres torrent: The Chelsea striker's goal against Barcelona prompted a flood of tweets

Seven Twitter controversies

Joey Barton v Dietmaar Hamann

Joey Barton seems to be ranting and raving every hour of every day, giving his outspoken opinions on everything from The FA to the Israel-Palestine dispute. But his most controversial exchange came when a row erupted with Dietmaar Hamann, after Barton tweeted about QPR’s attempt to hijack Newcastle’s bid for Loic Remy in the January transfer window.

Barton was chided by Hamann for getting involved in ‘club politics’ and he responded viciously with a string of insults and allegations about the former Newcastle, Liverpool and Manchester City player. The pair hammered out a total of over 50 messages and Barton repeatedly told Hamann, 39, to get his ‘life in order’ and claimed the German was unprofessional.

The volatile midfielder also made reference to a gambling problem which Hamann revealed he had, in February 2012, and his family life.

Repeat offender: Barton has been involved in numerous Twitter spats, including with former team-mate Hamann

Repeat offender: Barton has been involved in numerous Twitter spats, including one with Hamann

Repeat offender: Barton has been involved in numerous Twitter spats, including one with Hamann

Ashley Cole v Rio Ferdinand

After Ashley Cole reportedly gave court evidence defending Chelsea team-mate John Terry against allegations of racism towards Anton Ferdinand last summer, Rio Ferdinand, disappointed by the ‘Not Guilty’ verdict sent a tweet suggesting that Ashley Cole was a ‘Choc ice’.

Rio was subsequently fined by The FA but the controversy re-emerged in December when Ferdinand was the was left bleeding after being hit in the face with a two pence coin as he celebrated Manchester United’s winning goal against Manchester City at Eastlands.

The family of Ashley Cole took to Facebook to declare their pleasure in seeing Ferdinand hurt, with the Chelsea star’s brother Matthew is said to have posted on Facebook: ‘So happy Rio got hit in the face today when he tried to give it kissing his badge!! Straight in the eye!! Made my day.’ Cole’s mother Sue later added her own comment: ‘Give the fan that threw it a medal!!’

Former friends: Ferdinand and Cole fell out following allegations of racism directed at Anton Ferdinand

Former friends: Ferdinand and Cole fell out following allegations of racism directed at Anton Ferdinand

Former friends: Ferdinand and Cole fell out following allegations of racism directed at Anton Ferdinand

Ashley Cole slams The FA

Ashley Cole was fined 90,000 after admitting a Football Association charge in relation to foul-mouthed outburst on Twitter.

The Chelsea and England full-back labelled the FA a 'bunch of t***s' on the social networking site after an independent regulatory commission of the governing body investigating the John Terry racial abuse case had cast doubt on Cole's evidence.

His comments were swiftly removed but the FA reacted quickly and charged Cole, whose furious outburst was retweeted more than 19,000 times and provoked large condemnation from the footballing world.

Referee Mark Halsey receives Death Threats

Referee Mark Halsey called the police in over sick Twitter taunts following his handling of the explosive clash between Liverpool and Manchester United.

A number of tweets referred to Halsey's well-known battle against cancer and sickeningly referred to his wife, Michelle, who has also been fighting the disease.

Two of the most offensive comments came from a John Wareing who posted ‘I hope Mark Halsey gets cancer again and dies’ (@johnwareing1) and a John Hughes who tweeted ‘Mark Halsey should’ve died of cancer’ (@lfcjohn259).

Within minutes of the game finishing in a 2-1 defeat for Liverpool, messages were being posted on social media websites following a number of controversial refereeing decisions including a first-half red card for Liverpool’s Jonjo Shelvey for a rash tackle on United defender Jonny Evans.

Sick: Referee Halsey was targeted by Twitter thugs over his handling of a match

Sick: Referee Halsey was targeted by Twitter thugs over his handling of a match

10 Year Old Boy 'blacks up' as El Hadji Diouf

A ten-year-old Leeds United fan became embroiled in an online race row after he blacked up to pose with his hero El Hadji Diouf.

The child posted a series of pictures on his Twitter account provoking a backlash from users who said he was racist.

But the primary school child said he did not realise it would be offensive and did it as a tribute to his footballing hero. The boy’s father was forced to take to his son’s Twitter account to defend him from accusations of racism.

He wrote: 'I want to apologise if (my son) dressing up has caused offence.'

Unbelievable: One Leeds fans 'blacked up' to mimic his favourite player - Diouf

Unbelievable: One Leeds fans 'blacked up' to mimic his favourite player – Diouf

Ryan Babel Mocks up Howard Webb in a Man United shirt

In January 2011, Liverpool winger Ryan Babel became the first professional footballer to be censured for comments made on the social networking site Twitter after the Football Association fined the Dutch international 10,000 for posting a mocked-up picture of referee Howard Webb wearing a Manchester United shirt.

In the dock: Liverpool striker Babel was reprimanded for posting this mocked-up picture of Webb

In the dock: Liverpool striker Babel was reprimanded for posting this mocked-up picture of Webb

In the dock: Liverpool striker Babel was reprimanded for posting this mocked-up picture of Webb

Carlton Cole Fined for Anti-Immigration tweets

Carlton Cole was fined 20,000 by the FA for his Twitter comments during England’s match against Ghana in March 2011.

Cole tweeted: ‘Immigration has surrounded the Wembley premises! I knew it was a trap! Hahahaha. The only way to get out safely is to wear an England jersey and paint your face w/ the St. George’s flag!’

He later deleted the tweet and said it was a ‘joke’.

Bobby Barnes, deputy chief executive of the PFA, said: ‘The commission fully accepted the mitigation put forward on Carlton’s behalf and his apology for any offence caused, however unintentionally.

Poorly chosen words: Cole said his comments about immigration were a 'joke'

Poorly chosen words: Cole said his comments about immigration were a 'joke'

PSG 2 Marseille 0: David Beckham edges out Joey Barton

PSG 2 Marseille 0: Beckham wins battle of Brits as Ibrahimovic downs Barton's boys

PUBLISHED:

21:48 GMT, 27 February 2013

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UPDATED:

21:48 GMT, 27 February 2013

David Beckham was given a less than warm welcome from Joey Barton but had the last laugh as Paris Saint-Germain came out on top against Marseille.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored both goals but all eyes were on Beckham as he made his first start for the French club – and Barton made his presence felt when he barged into his fellow Brit in the first half.

Ibrahimovic opened the scoring 10 minutes before the break and made sure of the victory with a second-half penalty.

Beckham was later booked but was substituted to a standing ovation with five minutes remaining.

More to follow…

Le Crunch: Joey Barton takes no prisoners as David Beckham (right) is sent flying

Le Crunch: Joey Barton takes no prisoners as David Beckham (right) is sent flying

Sore one: Beckham (right) is tackled by Marseille's midfielder Jacques Romao

Sore one: Beckham (right) is tackled by Marseille's midfielder Jacques Romao

Eyes on the prize: Beckham helped his new side to victory in the French Cup tie

Eyes on the prize: Beckham helped his new side to victory in the French Cup tie

Pass and move: Beckham showed signs of his ability on his first start for the Paris club

Pass and move: Beckham showed signs of his ability on his first start for the Paris club

Opening salvo: Zlatan Ibrahimovic scores to put PSG in front against Marseille and celebrates (below)

Opening salvo: Zlatan Ibrahimovic scores to put PSG in front against Marseille and celebrates (below)

Zlatan Ibrahimovic celebrates

Zlatan Ibrahimovic celebrates

PSG v Marseille – LIVE video stream

Watch LIVE action from PSG v Marseille as Beckham and Barton square up again in the French Cup

PUBLISHED:

16:53 GMT, 27 February 2013

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UPDATED:

17:45 GMT, 27 February 2013

David Beckham is back in action tonight as his Paris St Germain side take on Joey Barton's Marseille in the French Cup.

Kicking off at 7.55pm (UK time), readers in the UK and Ireland can watch all the action live from the Parc des Princes – for FREE.

Simply click on the video player that appears below, sit back and enjoy the match action as Beckham and Barton go head-to-head…

David Beckham makes Paris Saint-Germain debut in 2-0 win over Olympique Marseille

PSG 2 Marseille 0: Winning start for Beckham as English star has a hand in second goal during 15-minute debut

By
Adam Shergold

PUBLISHED:

22:01 GMT, 24 February 2013

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UPDATED:

22:10 GMT, 24 February 2013

David Beckham made a winning debut for Paris Saint-Germain as they took a big step towards the French championship with a 2-0 win over bitter rivals Marseille.

The former England captain came on with 15 minutes remaining and had a hand in his new team's second goal, scored by Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Earlier, Lucas Moura's shot was deflected off Joey Barton and Nicolas N'Koulou to give the hosts a 10th minute lead.

Debut: David Beckham came off the bench in the 76th minute to make his first appearance for new club Paris Saint-Germain in their 2-0 win over rivals Marseille

Debut: David Beckham came off the bench in the 76th minute to make his first appearance for new club Paris Saint-Germain in their 2-0 win over rivals Marseille

First start: Beckham started on the bench and came on for Javier Pastore in the closing stages

First start: Beckham started on the bench and came on for Javier Pastore in the closing stages

Helping hand: In blizzard-like conditions in Paris, Beckham played a part in PSG's second goal, scored by Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Helping hand: In blizzard-like conditions in Paris, Beckham played a part in PSG's second goal, scored by Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Barton played from the start for Marseille, but Beckham had to make do with a start on the bench in snowy Paris.

He completed two warm-ups during the
second-half and replaced Javier Pastore in the 76th minute. Beckham's
passing looked as sharp and reliable as ever, as he connected with
teammates Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Jeremy Menez, Ezequiel Lavezzi and others.

And it was Beckham who chipped a ball
over the Marseille defence into the path of Menez in the first minute
of injury time. Menez crossed and Ibrahimovic deflected the ball past
Steve Mandanda with his knee.

In an open and entertaining game, PSG failed to fully capitalise on an early lead gained fortuitously when Moura's shot, which was going wide, deflected first off Barton and then off N'Koulou to wrong foot Mandanda in goal.

Marseille, inspired by the excellent Mathieu Valbuena, created a number of good openings to equalise and PSG keeper Salvatore Sirigu saved smartly on a number of occasions.

The win is significant for PSG, who are chasing a third French title, as it took them back above Lyon, who had beaten Lorient 3-1 earlier in the day.

More to follow…

Contrasting fortunes: Joey Barton can only look on in disappointment as Beckham hugs Ibrahimovic after the second goal

Contrasting fortunes: Joey Barton can only look on in disappointment as Beckham hugs Ibrahimovic after the second goal

Loic Remy signs for QPR from Marseille for 8million

I'm the man to keep QPR in the Premier League, says Remy after sealing his 8m move from Marseille

after he was ruled out of the tournament with a thigh injury.

Fellow QPR player and teammate at Marseille Joey Barton tweeted a message to the outgoing forward: 'Best of luck to you both. Loic is a great guy and a fantastic player'.

QPR currently stand bottom of the Premier League, two points behind Reading in 19th and five behind Wigan and safety.

They have a crunch period of games coming up, including away to West Ham, away to Man City and home to Norwich in the next few weeks.

New signing Remy alongside Chief Executive Philip Beard

Bedding in: New signing Remy alongside Chief Executive Philip Beard

New QPR signing Loic Remy exclusively photographed at Loftus Road


New QPR signing Loic Remy exclusively photographed at Loftus Road

Remy has 17 caps for France so far

International: Remy has 17 caps for France so far

Marseille want Joey Barton

Marseille keen to tie down Barton on long-term deal after bad boy flourishes

By
John Drayton

PUBLISHED:

13:38 GMT, 6 January 2013

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UPDATED:

00:14 GMT, 7 January 2013

Marseille sporting director Jose Anigo has praised Joey Barton and suggested the Ligue 1 club would be interested in retaining the midfielder beyond his season-long loan from QPR.

The 30-year-old Barton was sent out on loan by the London club in disgrace this summer following his red card shame at former club Manchester City on the final day of last season, which brought him a 12-match ban.

Main man: Joey Barton (left) has been a hit during his loan spell at Marseille

Main man: Joey Barton (left) has been a hit during his loan spell at Marseille

But Barton has flourished in the south of France where, after being made to serve his ban and wait for a league debut, he has quickly become a key cog in a Marseille side in a three-way tie with Paris St Germain and Lyon at the top of Ligue 1.

And Anigo insisted Barton's impact had come as no surprise to him.

'He was described as an animal, but he is just the opposite. He is funny, intelligent, and he fights for victory,' Anigo told L'Equipe.

Trip home: Barton watched QPR lose to Liverpool last month

Trip home: Barton watched QPR lose to Liverpool last month

'We can see that the team has been lifted by his competitive spirit. He is now established as a leader in our group.

'He is very happy here, maybe he has found the right club for him. Should he desire (to stay) it could be very good. We have a very good relationship with his club QPR.'

Joey Barton attends QPR v Liverpool match

A happy return, Joey Barton back from Marseille to watch parent club QPR collapse against Liverpool at Loftus Road

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UPDATED:

00:12 GMT, 31 December 2012

Joey Barton made the trip across the Channel from Marseille to watch his parent club Queens Park Rangers suffer a crushing defeat at the hands of Liverpool.

Barton played in Marseille's 1-0 victory over Saint Etienne on December 23, but took the opportunity to put in an appearance at Loftus Road to watch the basement side attempt to topple the visiting Reds.

It didn't go well for Harry Redknapp's men. Luis Suarez hit a double and Daniel Agger headed home to condemn Rangers to yet another defeat, leaving them rock bottom and eight points from safety.

Familiar face: Joey Barton (second row, centre) was back at Loftus Road

Familiar face: Joey Barton (second row, centre) was back at Loftus Road

The loanee made the switch to the Ligue 1 club this summer, but first had to serve a 12-match domestic ban for his part in the final-day fracas at the Etihad Stadium last season.

The 30-year-old midfielder has deputised 12 times for Marseille, who are level on points with league-leaders Paris Saint Germain and second-placed Lyon in the French league.

Barton scored his first and only competitive goal for the Ligue 1 title hopefuls against Borussia Mnchengladbach in their 2-2 Europa League draw in November.

Impressed Barton watched his parent club get hammered 3-0

Impressed Barton watched his parent club get hammered 3-0

Impressed Barton watched his parent club get hammered 3-0

Redknapp's QPR, on the other hand, are rooted to the bottom of the Premier League, having picked up a paltry 10 points from the first 19 games.

Barton, who has won over the fans of his temporary club, will be back in France for Marseille's Coupe de France tie against Guingamp on January 6 at the Stade Velodrome.

Is that it Luis Suarez led the charge for Liverpool and scored twice

Is that it Luis Suarez led the charge for Liverpool and scored twice

Contrast: It's all smiles at Marseille, who are level on points with league leaders Paris Saint Germain

Contrast: It's all smiles at Marseille, who are level on points with league leaders Paris Saint Germain

Joey Barton is hoping to stay in Marseille for longer and terminate his contract at QPR

Barton and QPR ready to terminate contract and make French holiday permanent

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UPDATED:

11:19 GMT, 27 December 2012

Joey Barton could stay at Marseille for longer than his 12-month loan as it is understood QPR chiefs have encouraged him to terminate his contract by mutual consent.

He has won over the Olympique Marseille club and fans since going on loan at the end of August and, as he is still in receipt of almost 300,000 a month from his parent club.

QPR are keen to do both themselves and the Ligue 1 title challengers a favour and make him a free agent.

Barton has quickly become popular amongst Marseille supporters in his seven matches

Fans' favourite: Barton has quickly become popular amongst Marseille supporters in his seven matches

He has made seven appearances for Elie Baup’s side, and despite being banned from making his debut until late November, has certainly settled in.

According to Le Phoceen, QPR bosses have already spoken with Barton to raise the issue, and the player has gone on record to say he will not be returning to Loftus Road.

The controversial midfielder has lost nothing of his aggressive side since his move to France

No holding back: The controversial midfielder has lost nothing of his aggressive side since his move to France

The 30-year old may, however, choose to return to England or move elsewhere in Europe.

Valencia have previous reported interest and he has also been touted as a potential replacement for Marouane Fellaini at Everton.

Joey Barton: Marseille can beat PSG and Lyon to Ligue 1 title

Barton sets sights on French glory by insisting Marseille can beat PSG and Lyon to title

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UPDATED:

11:14 GMT, 26 December 2012

Joey Barton has said Marseille are good enough to lift the league title in France this season.

The club are third in Ligue 1 behind leaders PSG and second-placed Lyon but are level on points, and the former QPR man has pledged that he will do everything he can to make it happen.

'What is important is that we have a good rest, because the second half of the season will be tough,’ he told La Provence.

Battling: Barton is determined to win the Ligue 1 title

Battling: Barton is determined to win the Ligue 1 title

He also promised manager Elie Baup would be busy this transfer window.

‘Some players will be arriving and we will do everything we can to be champions.’

This statement of intent, however, is on hold because, for the first time in 10 years, Barton will put his feet up this Boxing Day.

Taking it easy: Barton is undertaking his first winter break

Taking it easy: Barton is undertaking his first winter break

The 30-year old has lauded the easy-going French lifestyle, but taking a two-week rest over Christmas – before Ligue 1 resumes on January 11 – is among one of its bigger attractions.

Twitter highlights from 2012 with Usain Bolt, Rio Ferdinand, Michael Phelps and more

How Bolt, Rio, Phelps and the rest told the story of sport in 2012 using 140 characters

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UPDATED:

21:22 GMT, 24 December 2012

Ah Twitter. How did the sporting world manage before it had you

It's quite astounding how many sportsmen have managed to land themselves in hot water this year in only 140 characters. Joey Barton, Ashley Cole, Rio Ferdinand – the list goes on.

But there are some sporting stars with a much better grasp of Twitter, and choose to use its powers for good rather than evil.

Top Twits: Sportsmen and women used Twitter to offer a brilliant insight into their life away from the track, field or pitch, with Usain Bolt, Bradley Wiggins and Lance Armstrong producing the most memorable

Top Twits: Sportsmen and women used Twitter to offer a brilliant insight into their life away from the track, field or pitch, with Usain Bolt, Bradley Wiggins and Lance Armstrong producing the most memorable

Top Twits: Sportsmen and women used Twitter to offer a brilliant insight into their life away from the track, field or pitch, with Usain Bolt, Bradley Wiggins and Lance Armstrong producing the most memorable

Top Twits: Sportsmen and women used Twitter to offer a brilliant insight into their life away from the track, field or pitch, with Usain Bolt, Bradley Wiggins and Lance Armstrong producing the most memorable

The Olympics saw a social media explosion as it became the most tweeted event 2012, with a staggering 150 million tweets being sent over the 16 days.

And the athletes involved were desperate to share their moments of joy with the fans, as well as with watching celebrities.

After Bradley Wiggins won time trial gold medal he posted a picture of himself celebrating next to St Paul's iconic dome in central London. Ever the life and soul of the party, the cyclist added: ‘Well what a day, blind drunk at the minute and overwhelmed with all the messages, Thank You everyone it’s been emotional X’

Others not directly involved just had to express their pride in the British team as they watched them storm to victory. Kevin Pietersen could barely contain his excitement as Mo Farah took his second gold of the games.

His tweet was simple, but said what most of those at home and in the stadium were screaming: 'Moooooooooooooo Mooooooooooooo Moooooooooooo #BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM'

The American athletes were thrilled to be given personal praise from Barack Obama himself.

Michael Phelps received congratulations from the President as he tweeted: 'Congrats to Michael Phelps for breaking the all-time Olympic medal record. You've made your country proud. –bo.'

Says what we're thinking: Kevin Pietersen summed up the nation's feelings as Mo Farah claimed gold

Says what we're thinking: Kevin Pietersen summed up the nation's feelings as Mo Farah claimed gold

Says what we're thinking: Kevin Pietersen summed up the nation's feelings as Mo Farah claimed gold

Phelps replied: 'Thank you Mr. President!! It’s an honor representing the #USA!! The best country in the world!!'

Teen sensation Missy Franklin was also beside herself when she received a tweet of congratulations following her first gold medal in the 100m backstroke, but hers was from Justin Bieber, who tweeted: 'Heard @FranklinMissy is a fan of mine. Now I'm a fan of hers too. CONGRATS on winning GOLD! #muchlove.'

'I just died,' was Franklin’s simple response.

There were some more poignant moments over the 16 days.

As Michael Phelps bowed out of the Games for good he tweeted: 'Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened – Dr Seuss.'

Ryan Lochte joined his American team-mate in putting forward more philosophical thoughts, tweeting: 'Always reach for the moon cuz if u slip up u will still be a star!! #Jeah'

And of course, the Olympics wouldn’t be complete without a classic from Usain Bolt.

He had just become the first man to defend both the 100m and 200m Olympic titles and, never one to shy away from his own success, the Jamaican superstar tweeted: 'Thanks to all my real fans and people who believe in me. I am now a living legend that’s for sure.'

Later a picture was posted of him with three members of the women's Swedish handball team.

Behind the scenes: We were treated to celebrating dressing rooms

Behind the scenes: We saw celebrating dressing rooms and even the toilets at Buckingham Palace

Behind the scenes: We saw celebrating dressing rooms and even the toilets at Buckingham Palace

TOP 10 TWEETS OF THE YEAR

1. ‘Feels Good To Be Awesome.’ – Bubba Watson

2.
‘Well what a day, blind drunk at the minute and overwhelmed with all
the messages, Thank You everyone it's been emotional X’ – Bradley
Wiggins

3. ‘Moooooooooooooo Mooooooooooooo Moooooooooooo #BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM’ – Kevin Pietersen

4. ‘Roger uv got the moves like jagger’ – Yuvraj Singh (after Roger Federer’s Wimbledon victory

5. ‘Loving
the lights on the stumps and bails at the BBL (Big Bash League). Remind
me of a pair of trainers I had as a kid.’ – Eoin Morgan

6. ’Andy
Murray did himself, his family and his nation proud today. Played like a
champ. His time will come for sure!’ – Rory McIlroy

7. ‘Thank you Mr. President!! It’s an honor representing the #USA!! The best country in the world!!’ – Michael Phelps

8. ’OMFG I think it just hit me, I'm a CHAMPION!! I AM a CHAMPION!!’ – Lebron James, after the 2012 NBA Finals

9.
‘Coach, told me to go do a pool workout. So I went & did some Push
ups next to the pool. What! I aint getting this hair wet #mixedchick
#afro’ – Lolo Jones

10. ‘Where did it all go wrong They say it’s the
organiser’s fault, but I blame myself.’ – Twitter user impersonating
an unoccupied Olympic chair

Another athlete having fun on Twitter this year was Bubba Watson. After winning his first Major he told the world how he felt in quite simple terms, tweeting: 'Feels Good To Be Awesome.'

The golfer also managed to please an over-excitable fan, who tweeted at him: 'Hey Bubba, Please could You tweet me saying hi or something :3'

Watson responded with a brief 'hi' and the fan replied with: 'You have just made my day! Thank You!! :3'

But 2012 did see some darker moments on the social networking site, with many a careless comment resulting in a fine or worse.

Racism as an issue has been the ever-present spectre in sport this year, and Twitter was in no way immune.

Rio Ferdinand committed one of the most high-profile foul-ups when he re-tweeted a comment about Ashley Cole.

Cole had been appearing in court as part of John Terry’s defence against charges of racially aggravated abuse towards Anton Ferdinand, and a Twitter user labelled him a 'choc ice' – a slang term which refers to someone being black on the outside but white on the inside.

Ferdinand re-tweeted the comment, saying: 'I hear you fella! Choc ice is classic! hahahahahahha!!'

The comment drew criticism from many who felt it smacked of hypocrisy in an argument about racism. The Manchester United defender was fined 45,000 but suffered no harsher punishment.

The same cannot be said for Voula Papachristou and Michel Morganella, both of whom were sent home from the Olympics after tweeting offensive remarks.

Breaking news: After his collapse on the pitch at White Hart Lane, the world waited for news of Fabrice Muamba. It was provided through Twitter

Breaking news: After his collapse on the pitch at White Hart Lane, the world waited for news of Fabrice Muamba. It was provided through Twitter

Papachristou, a triple-jumper, was expelled from the Greek Olympic team after tweeting in reference to mosquitos carrying the West Nile virus: 'With so many Africans in Greece, at least the West Nile mosquitoes will eat home made food!'

The tweet was seen as xenophobic and against the ideals of the Olympic Games, as were the comments made by Michel Morganella, who labelled Koreans, 'retards' and said they could 'burn' after Switzerland's 2-1 defeat at the hands of South Korea.

Like Papachristou, the Swiss was immediately sent home.

Snooker ace Mark Allen also got himself into trouble with offensive tweets during the Haikou World Open, after he tweeted: 'Journey a nightmare. People are ignorant. Place stinks. Arena's rubbish, tables poor, food is horrendous. Other than that I love China.'

Though that particular tweet was removed, it was one in a number of less-than-flattering statements about the host country.

There were some downright uncomfortable moments too, such as when Lance Armstrong, ever defiant in the face of criticism, tweeted a picture of his seven Tour de France jerseys hanging on his wall.

The titles may have been stripped after doping allegations, but the disgraced cyclist didn’t seem to take that too seriously as he tweeted ‘Back in Austin and just layin’ around’ with the picture of him lying on a sofa beneath the jerseys.

There was also bewilderment when three-time Olympian Suzy Favor Hamilton revealed on Twitter that she had been working as an escort.

Hamilton competed in three Olympic Games for the US, in 1992, 1996 and 2000. The middle-distance runner lived in Wisconsin with her husband, but had been working for an escort service in Las Vegas.

'I do not expect people to understand,' tweeted the American. 'But the reasons for doing this made sense to me at the time and were very much related to depression.'

Dad's the word: Gerard Pique and Dan Carter were two to take to Twitter to reveal good news to the world

Dad's the word: Gerard Pique and Dan Carter were two to take to Twitter to reveal good news to the world

Dad's the word: Gerard Pique and Dan Carter were two to take to Twitter to reveal good news to the world

Some athletes used Twitter for what could be called 'professional reasons' in 2012, but perhaps unadvisedly so.

As a rule of thumb it’s usually best
not to criticise your employers in public forums, but that didn’t stop
Australian fly-half Quade Cooper from labelling the environment in the
Wallabies as ‘toxic’ on Twitter.

Cooper spent a few months in limbo as
he waited to see what the long-term fall-out would be from his comments,
but all was forgiven in the end and he re-joined the national squad
earlier this month.

But there was some heart-warming tweeting amongst all the fraying tempers. Gerard Pique and Dan Carter both used Twitter to announce baby news this year, with Pique posting the picture of his first child’s sonogram.

'His first pic! #excited #cute,' tweeted the proud prospective papa.

All Black Carter announced that his wife Honor was expecting a baby in November, tweeting: 'Thought it was time to share our exciting news.. @honorcarter is 21 weeks pregnant! We are both very excited about being parents Babycarter.'

All in all the year has exemplified Twitter’s ubiquity in sport, and whether or not we see managers and agents start to ban their charges from using it remains to be seen.

It would be a shame for fans to lose the chance to interact with their idols in the way that 2012 has shown is possible. But with so many players making headlines for the wrong reasons, it may be an inevitable end result.