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01st Feb 2017

Footballer who sent disgusting tweets to Harry Arter has received a lengthy ban

The fourth longest ban handed out by the FA.

Robert Redmond

The footballer who sent disgusting tweets to Harry Arter over the death of his stillborn child has been banned by the Football Association.

Alfie Barker was watching Bournemouth’s 3-3 draw with Arsenal on January 3 when he sent a series of tweets to Arter.

The 18-year-old, who was playing for non-league side Hitchin Town at the time, mocked Bournemouth midfielder Arter over the loss of his baby daughter in December 2015.

“Big hype just for a disappointment like the nine months leading up to your child’s birth,” he wrote.

Barker was subsequently sacked by his club, and on Tuesday he was banned from all football activity until August 1. He has also been fined £250.


Barker initially denied he was responsible for the tweets, and claimed his account had been hacked. He then admitted sending them, issued an apology, and attempted to explain his actions.

“I was watching Arsenal at home last night and I was hyper,” he said.

“At 3-0 down they weren’t playing well and I was annoyed. I’d had a couple of beers and was frustrated at the way the team was playing and I just lashed out. I have no idea why I focused on Harry Arter and his family and I am so, so sorry for what I have done.

“It was a moment of madness.

“I have no social skills. I have no filter between my mouth and my brain. I work every day and I have spent the whole day trying to understand why I did what I did.”

The disgusting tweets have landed Barker with the fourth longest ban ever given out by the FA.

Eric Cantona received nine months for his kung-fu kick on a Crystal Palace supporter. Former Chelsea and Manchester United goalkeeper Mark Bosnich was also banned for nine months, after he tested positive for cocaine.

While Rio Ferdinand received an eight month ban for missing a drug test.

Arter issued a dignified response earlier this month when he was asked about Barker’s vile tweets, saying:

“I’ve ignored it. It hasn’t impacted on me. Some little kid sitting in his house tweeting me when I’m playing against Arsenal is not important in my life.

“Honestly, hand on heart. It’s not. There is nothing more to say.”


Harry Arter