"The messages were just vile" - Harry Arter reveals the extent of Twitter abuse after deflection rumours

The Bournemouth midfielder was speaking to Kevin Palmer of the Sunday World

Harry Arter

Image: ©INPHO/Donall Farmer 

Harry Arter described as "vile" the abuse he received on Twitter after rumours that was about to deflect to the England national team.  

This week, Paul Merson and Jeff Stelling of Sky Sports said that Arter had produced performances that would merit an England call-up despite the fact that he had already turned out for Ireland on three occasions.  

The fact that these caps were in non-competitive matches means that he would be eligible to swap over and when journalists pitched the question to Martin O'Neill after Thursday's win over Georgia, the Republic of Ireland boss seemed unaware of any rumours.

As is the nature of social media, however, these rumours took on a life of their own and some so-called 'fans' took the opportunity to abuse the 26-year-old.

"I couldn’t believe what I was seeing," Arter told Kevin Palmer of the Sunday World, in an exclusive interview.

"This was Irish people who had looked at a few newspaper stories and come to the conclusion that I was about to go and play for England.

"I never said that was happening and my stance on the whole story was I didn’t need to comment on something that was little more than a rumour.

"Then I see these Twitter messages and, honestly, it was the only time that I have ever had a thought that maybe I shouldn’t bother playing for Ireland.

"The messages were just vile. I was shocked by what people who sending my way. Honestly, I had to check that someone had not hacked my account and put a message on there to inspire this reaction.

"This was personal stuff, really nasty. If my missus had seen it she would have been upset as well and you wonder how people can sit there and write this stuff.

"A lot of the messages have now been deleted, which says all you need to know about the people that thought it was a good idea to write them in the first place."