Baldock Town have decided to give Alfie Barker, a teenage footballer who tweeted Bournemouth’s Harry Arter about the death of his baby daughter, a second chance.
Barker has served a seven-month ban imposed by The FA after admitting to posting comments which were abusive and/or insulting and/or improper and/or brought the game into disrepute.
Barker was with Hitchin Town when he tweeted a message to Arter during Bournemouth’s 3-3 draw with Arsenal on 3 January. The club then sacked him as well as the carpentry firm where he worked.
“Within our club, we welcome people from all backgrounds, cultures and embrace their disabilities or any mental health problems that they have. We support our club members, players, committee and supporters and would hope that we always look to provide professional help to those who need it.
“We believe that people should be allowed a second chance and have always been willing to listen to people when they have had problems. After a lot of discussions within the club and after speaking with Alfie, It is our belief that he could benefit from being at our club.
“Although we do not in any way condone his previous actions, we do know that it has come to light he has mild learning disabilities and autism. In this respect, we think that under the guidance of our club we can help him become a better person, that he can learn to flourish and put the past behind him. We hope that our decision to support Alfie will be welcomed by all our supporters, old and new.
“We as a club and a football team would like to welcome Alfie and we hope that he will be able to become an asset to our club.”