Footballer hit with lengthy ban for offensive tweets to Harry Arter

The non-league player tweeted about the death of the Ireland midfielder's daughter

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Image: ©INPHO/Donall Farmer

A non-league footballer has been banned from the sport for seven months for offensive tweets he sent to Bournemouth and Ireland's Harry Arter.

Ex-Hitchin Town player Alfie Barker mocked the Republic of Ireland midfielder over the death of his baby daughter during last month's 3-3 draw between Bournemouth and Arsenal.

Arter's daughter, Renee, passed away at birth in December 2015. Her tragic passing has been spoken about by the Irish international, who had said he plans to honour her memory throughout the rest of his career.

Barker was sacked by his club as a result, but will now not be able to play again until August 1st 2017.

He has also been fined £250.

In January, Barker apologised for his actions and in an interview with Justin Delaney of BBC, he said that the events had led to death threats.

"Death threats, every single kind of threat all the time 24/7. People putting my phone number on Twitter. They're saying they're gonna come to my next match and break my legs," he said.

At the time, Barker also said that he feels he should have the opportunity to have a second chance.

"I think I should be allowed to play football again. I'm 18 years old, I've made a mistake but everyone deserves a second chance," he said.