Sick Barker fired by non-league club

January 4, 2017

THE non-league player who trolled Harry Arter over the death of his daughter has been sacked by his club.

Hitchin forward Alfie Barker tweeted sick abuse to Bournemouth star Arter after the Cherries’ 3-3 draw with Arsenal last night.

Harry Arter Bournemouth Arsenal
Harry Arter was sent sick tweets during Bournemouth’s draw with Arsenal

And the Southern League Premier Division club have now terminated his contract with immediate effect.

Barker, who had been on loan at South Midlands League Division One side Codicote, issued a grovelling apology about the vile messages he sent regarding Arter’s stillborn child, which Bournemouth reported to Twitter.

Gunners fan Barker’s first tweet to Arter read: “At least you didn’t lose your kid.”

He then followed it up with: “Big hype just for a disappointment like the nine months leading up to your child’s birth.”

Sick tweets sent from account under the name of non-league forward Alfie Barker
Sick tweets sent from account under the name of non-league forward Alfie Barker
Arter has a tattoo dedicated to Renee
Arter has a tattoo dedicated to tragic daughter Renee

The messages relate to when Arter tragically lost his baby daughter Renee at birth in December 2015.

Midfielder Arter, whose fiancee Rachel is due another child in February, read the posts after last night’s match and was understood to be deeply upset.

Barker only deleted the tweets this morning – and he then wrote: “I’m sorry for every comment made.

“I’d like to apologise to Harry Arter and his family for such disgraceful comments and I’m sorry from the bottom of my heart.”

The FA have launched a probe and will be seeking Barker’s observations in relation to his social-media activity.

And a Hitchin statement read: “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.

“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 boss Mark Burke had earlier said: “I’ve seen the tweets and I’m disgusted with them. They’re vile and I can’t condone them in any way.”

Barker’s loan club Codicote also commented: “We are disgusted and appalled at comments made by our loan player.

“We will work with the FA and other authorities on an appropriate solution.”

Alfie Barker tweets Harry Arter
Barker later apologised for his comments but was sacked by club
Harry Arter lined out for his club Bournemouth just days after his baby’s passing
Harry Arter lined out for his club Bournemouth just days after his baby’s passing in 2015

Arter famously starred in a 2-1 win over Manchester United just days after Renee’s death, but now admits he should have taken time off to grieve properly.

The Ireland international – who has a tattoo on his right forearm in tribute to Renee – said last month: “I wasn’t in a good place around that time.

“Physically I wasn’t great – I think stress takes a lot out of your body and I was always picking up little injuries – while mentally I was completely in the wrong place.

“Every day I think of her.

“And it’s strange because there are days when I feel like a normal person, or how someone who hasn’t lost a baby would feel.

“But then it will just hit you, driving along and suddenly you see something that triggers your mind.”


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