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McKeefry Banner – January 2017

Footballer Alfie Barker sackedover vile tweets to Ireland’s Harry Arter about his stillborn baby

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Republic of Ireland midfielder Harry Arter in action for Bournemouth  (Picture: Getty)

A NON-LEAGUE footballer has been sacked by his club for sending a sickening tweet to Republic Of Ireland international and AFC Bournemouth footballer Harry Arter.

Ex-Hitchin Town player, Alfie Barker, wrote a tweet mocking the death of Arter’s baby in December 2015.

The 18-year-old sent the tweet after AFC Bournemouth succumbed to a 3-3 draw after being 3-0 up against Arsenal with around 20 minutes to go in the game.

The tweet has since been deleted but read: “Big hype just for a disappointment like the nine months leading up to your child’s birth.”

Quickly after sending the tweet Barker apologised, tweeting, “Im sorry for every comment made , id like to apologise to harry arter and his family , for such disgraceful comments and i’m sorry…”

He also spoke to BBC Radio 5 Live and said: “Yeah it’s disgusting and I’m totally ashamed and I’ll do anything I can to apologise to Harry Arter and his family and I’ll take any action that is given to me.”

The presenter then asked the player what he would say to Harry Arter and his fiancée Rachel if they were listening to the interview.

“That I’m really sorry, I’d do anything I can to apologise and I did not mean what I said and I wish the best for them and I’m sorry.”

Barker’s account is no longer live on Twitter and he has been sacked by non-league Hitchin Town who have released the following statement.

Alfie Barker was registered to play for Hitchin Town in the Southern League and has appeared only briefly for the club in the 2016-17 season. He has been playing at Langford and Codicote on a dual registration basis.

The club adopts a responsible approach to social media and would expect any player connected to Hitchin Town to do likewise.

In the light of the player’s irresponsible and anti-social behaviour, we are terminating Alfie Barker’s registration and relationship with the club with immediate effect.

We would reiterate that Hitchin Town, as a community club with established links with various segments of the public, has been a long-time user of social media channels and expects all club stakeholders to use them appropriately.

Hitchin Town Football Club

One of his loan clubs, Codicote FC, with whom he was playing at also released a short statement on Twitter.

Cherries midfielder Harry Arter’s 27-year-old’s fiancée, Rachel Irwin, is currently pregnant and due to give birth to a baby girl in February.

Harry Arter is yet to comment on the tweet.

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Kelly Bar – MPU – January

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