'At least you didn't lose your kid' - Hitchin Town FC and Codicote FC distance themselves from player's tweets mocking AFC Bournemouth star Harry Arter over stillborn daughter after Arsenal draw

PUBLISHED: 10:46 04 January 2017 | UPDATED: 15:27 04 January 2017

Alfie Barker in action for Codicote. Picture: Mark Howie

Alfie Barker in action for Codicote. Picture: Mark Howie

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Hitchin Town FC and Codicote FC have distanced themselves from a footballer's 'vile' tweets mocking AFC Bournemouth star Harry Arter over his stillborn daughter.

Alfie Barker.Alfie Barker.

After last night’s Bournemouth–Arsenal fixture – in which the Cherries led 3-0 before the North London side came back to draw 3-3 – Alfie Barker, who is on loan from Hitchin at Codicote FC, tweeted the midfielder twice, first saying: “At least you didn’t lose your kid.”

The 18-year-old forward – who is from Stevenage and went to The Barclay School – then added: “Big hype just for a disappointment like the nine months leading up to your child’s birth.”

Hitchin Town boss Mark Burke said this morning that the comments were ‘vile’ and that an investigation was underway.

He told the Comet: “We obviously can’t condone what’s been said – it is vile.

The tweets made to Harry Arter by Hitchin Town FC player Alfie Barker, who is presently on loan at Codicote FC.The tweets made to Harry Arter by Hitchin Town FC player Alfie Barker, who is presently on loan at Codicote FC.

“This is from a personal account and we’re looking into it. We’re trying to get in touch with him right now.

“We’re drawing up a statement that we’ll be issuing later this afternoon.”

Codicote FC tweeted: “We are disgusted and appalled at the comments made by our loan player.

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

Harry Arter playing for AFC Bournemouth. Photo: Adam Davy/PA Wire.Harry Arter playing for AFC Bournemouth. Photo: Adam Davy/PA Wire.

Barker’s Codicote strike partner Marc Arnott added: “I am disgusted yet gutted what my strike partner said about the death of a footballer’s baby. Codicote FC are in process of sorting it out.

“Shame that he had a bright career just about to make a step up. Then he does this. It’s embarrassing for our club.”

The sick messages refer to when Arter lost his baby daughter Renee at birth in December 2015. He has a tattoo dedicated to her on his arm.

AFC Bournemouth have reported the posts to Twitter.

The tweets were deleted at about 10.40am, with the account name changed afterwards to ‘got hacked’, with Barker’s photo removed.

Barker’s comments have been condemned by dozens of other Twitter users, with one writing: “You sick, evil individual. How can you make such a tweet about something that gives a lifetime of heartbreak?”

Another added: “Horrendous thing to say, I bet your mother is really proud of you right now. Be a man and apologise.”

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