Footballer reveals the death threats he received for sending abhorrent tweets to Harry Arter
Alfie Barker says he is trying to atone for his horrible mistake15:15 Saturday 7 January 2017, 15:15 7 Jan 2017
The footballer who sent inexcusable tweets to Ireland's Harry Arter about the death of his daughter, has spoken out to publicly apologise for his behaviour and comment on the backlash he has received.
During Bournemouth's 3-3 draw with Arsenal during the week, Alfie Barker tweeted Arter about his performance and made reference to the tragic death of Arter's child.
Those tweets have since been deleted.
Barker has apologised for his actions and speaking to Justin Delaney of BBC, he spoke about how the public have treated him in the aftermath of his appalling act.
"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."
His mother has also received threatening phone calls. In order to keep him safe, Barker will not be allowed to leave his father's side for the foreseeable future.
Barker's father Danny joined him in studio and told Delaney that both are suffering from ADHD, which they are being medicated for.
He said that the medication helps slow down their thinking and give them a 'filter' from acting on impulsive thoughts. Alfie was drinking alcohol while taking the medication on the night he sent the tweets, which is prohibited by the instructions on the label.
His father abstains from drinking alcohol and remarked on how he has advised his son to delete his social media accounts in the past.
"I've tried many times to take him off social media. He keeps telling me, 'I'm an 18 year-old man, I can do what I want.' I don't live with Alfie, I can't physically be there to take his phone off him, he needs to learn some responsibility and to be a man."
"I wanted to break his back (when I heard about the tweets) Livid isn't the word. I'm known for having a bit of banter with the lads but there's banter and then there's despicable, personal digs at someone who clearly doesn't deserve it. He overstepped the mark."
He then went on to explain how their family have suffered from a similar tragedy, in which relatives experienced miscarriages. "She's more angry than me about what he said," adds Barker's father.
Barker has been sacked by his parent club Hitchin Town as well as Codicote FC, where he was on loan. He was also dismissed from his carpentry job on the back of the tweets as well.
Delaney pointed out that Burnley's Andre Gray has been welcomed back to football despite posting a series of homophobic and sexist tweets. And Barker believes he also deserves 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."
The very best bits delivered every weekSubscribe now