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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Pro-life charity disappointed with sacked footballer following ‘disgraceful’ tweets sent to Bournemouth’s Harry Arter

A pro-life charity has expressed its disappointment in semi-professional footballer Alfie Barker following his comments towards Bournemouth’s Harry Arter, in which he mocked the midfielder’s stillborn daughter.

The Football Association was investigating tweets from a Twitter account in the name of Barker, which were sent to Arter after Arsenal came from 3-0 down to draw 3-3 at Bournemouth on Tuesday 3rd January.

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 nine months leading up to your child’s birth’.

Arter, 27, has a tattoo on the inside of his right forearm that is dedicated to his daughter Renee who was stillborn on 10th December 2015.

Pro-life charity Life condemned Barker’s comments, explaining that the hurt suffered by parents of a stillborn child can remain for a long time.

“We are really disappointed at Barker’s remarks,” Life’s Mark Bhagwandin told The Universe. “It is really important that people are sensitive to parents, both mothers and fathers who have suffered pregnancy loss.

“At Life, because we deal with hundreds of women every year who are affected by pregnancy loss we know the pain and anguish parents feel on losing their child. Some parents suffer for many years trying to come to terms with the loss and really need the understanding and compassion of those around them.”

Barker was sacked by Hitchin Town FC following the tweets. The club issued a statement describing the player’s behaviour as ‘irresponsible and anti-social’.

However, prior to his dismissal Barker issued an apology for what he admitted were ‘disgraceful comments’.

You can read more on this story in this week’s edition of The Universe.

This weekend’s Premier League fixtures:

Saturday 14th January

Tottenham Hotspur v West Bromwich Albion – 12:30pm
Burnley v Southampton – 3:00pm
Hull City v Bournemouth – 3:00-pm
Sunderland v Stoke City – 3:00pm
Swansea City v Arsenal – 3:00pm
Watford v Middlesbrough – 3:00pm
West Ham United v Crystal Palace – 3:00pm
Leicester City v Chelsea – 5:30pm

Sunday 15th January

Everton v Manchester City – 1:30pm
Manchester United v Liverpool – 4:00pm

Picture: Bournemouth’s Harry Arter celebrates with fans on the pitch. (John Walton/PA).