Alfie Barker has been sacked by Hitchin Town and is under investigation by the Football Association after vile messages from his Twitter account were sent to AFC Bournemouth and Republic of Ireland midfielder Harry Arter, taunting him over his stillborn child.
An account in the name of Barker sent two tweets to Arter following Bournemouth’s 3-3 draw with Arsenal, with the Cherries seeing a 3-0 lead wiped out by the Gunners late comeback.
Arter has spoken of his pain after the loss of his stillborn daughter in December 2015.
The tweets read “At least you didn’t lose your kid”, followed by “Big hype just for a disappointment like the nine months leading up to your child’s birth”.
Bournemouth confirmed that Arter has reported Barker’s account to Twitter.
The 19-year-old striker, currently on loan with Spartan South Midlands League side Codicote could also be set to face disciplinary action, with the Football Association now looking into the tweets.
Hitchin Town released a statement on Wednesday lunchtime confirming that Barker had been sacked.
The 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. 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”
Barker had been under a dual-registration with Spartan South Midland League club Codicote, however they have also “terminated their relationship” with the player.
In their own statement they said “Alfie Barker was registered with Hitchin Town but under dual registration came to ourselves and Langford FC. Codicote FC adopts a responsibility to its social media outlets and expects the staff and players to do likewise.
In regard to comments made by the player of an irresponsible and anti social nature we have no choice but to terminate our relationship with him.
We would like to make it clear that Codicote FC cannot and will not tolerate this behaviour; we have a responsibility to our community, supporters and the Football family to stamp this behaviour out”.