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Footballer sacked over Tweets to EPL star

AAP logoAAP 4/01/2017 By Jim van Wijk

English semi-professional football club Hitchin Town have sacked a player who sent offensive comments on Twitter to Bournemouth midfielder Harry Arter about his stillborn daughter.

The Football Association will investigate the tweets from Alfie Barker, which were sent to Arter after Arsenal came from 3-0 down to draw 3-3 at Bournemouth on Tuesday night. One of the messages said: "at least you didn't lose your kid."

It was then followed up by another tweet to the midfielder which said: "Big hype just for a disappointment like the 9 months leading up to your child's birth."

On Wednesday, Barker issued an apology for what he described as ''disgraceful comments''.

Southern Football League Premier Division side Hitchin hold Barker's registration and issued a statement on Wednesday announcing they were terminating Barker's registration and relationship with the club with immediate effect.

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

"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."

Bournemouth and Arter became aware of the offensive posts following the match and reported them directly to Twitter.

On Wednesday morning, the tweets were still available for public view on the social media site.

However, later on Wednesday, the offensive posts were deleted as Barker issued an apology.

He wrote: ''Im sorry for every comment made , id like to apologise to harry arter and his family , for such disgraceful comments and im sorry...''

A second message then added: ''.. from the bottom of my heart.''

Arter has a tattoo on the inside of his right forearm which is dedicated to his daughter Renee who was stillborn on December 10 2015.

The 27-year-old's fiancee is currently pregnant and due to give birth to a baby girl in February.

Speaking in a recent interview with the Guardian newspaper reflecting on his loss, Arter said: ''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. It's such a weird feeling and one that I don't mind any more. Even when I'm sad I enjoy that feeling.''

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