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04th Jan 2017

Non-League footballer sacked after disgusting tweet aimed at Harry Arter

Horrific comment about the tragic death of his child

Mikey Stafford

Utterly appalling.

The football world was delighted to hear that Harry Arter’s partner was expecting another child this year. The couple lost their first child, Renee, in tragic circumstances in 2015 and the news that the Bournemouth and Republic of Ireland midfielder was to be a father again was greeted with universal warmth.

But now Hitchin Town player Alfie Barker is facing an FA investigation following a disgusting tweet sent from his account.

In the wake of Bournemouth’s 3-3 draw with Arsenal, which saw them relinquish a 3-0 lead, Barker tweeted: “Big hype just for a disappointment like the nine months leading up to your child’s birth.”

Having initially claimed his account was hacked the teenager has subsequently issued an apology. Bournemouth have referred the matter to the FA, while Hitchin town manager Mark Burke told the BBC they would be speaking to Barker in the course of their own investigation.

“We just want to make sure his account hasn’t been hacked, you’re innocent until proven guilty,” said Burke.

“It doesn’t look good for him at the moment. It does appear he’s made these comments and if that is the case we will be terminating his registration with us.

“I’ve seen the tweets and I’m disgusted with them. They’re vile and I can’t condone them in any way.”

The club have subsequently confirmed Barker’s sacking in a statement.

“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.”