Ireland star Harry Arter and his partner lost their baby days before Manchester United win
Published 13/12/2015 | 12:33
Harry Arter opted to play in Bournemouth's famous win over Manchester United and dedicated his performance to his family after a recent tragedy.
The Republic of Ireland international lined up for the Cherries in their 2-1 victory against Louis van Gaal's injury-hit United on Saturday evening, despite he and his partner losing their baby at birth earlier in the week.
Bournemouth announced the news ahead of the game and said their players would be wearing black armbands in tribute.
Arter then went on to put in a fine performance as Eddie Howe's men followed up a win at champions Chelsea with success against the Red Devils.
The 25-year-old came off towards the end of the game and was shown in an emotional embrace with Howe as the full-time whistle blew.
He then revealed why he had decided he would rather play in the match after such a trying week.
"I just felt that coming in and trying to take my mind off things would make it a little bit easier, and my family would want me to play," Arter told Cherries Player.
"While people maybe grieve in their own way, I found it easier to come in and play and try and do everyone proud.
"I said before the game that one reason I wanted to play was to dedicate the game to everyone associated with my family - my family that are here and not here."
Bournemouth took the lead against United inside three minutes as Junior Stanislas' corner floated over everyone before nestling in David De Gea's net.
Marouane Fellaini levelled for the visitors, who were without nine first-team regulars at the Vitality Stadium, but former United youngster Joshua King sealed the three points for Bournemouth with a finish from a low corner-kick.
The home fans clearly became aware of Arter's situation in the lead-up to the game and the former Woking man was full of praise for their backing.
"It's mad," he said. "Things like that help you so much and for that time and that 90 minutes when I was on the pitch, it was a really good feeling.
"The support of everyone at the club is why I felt like I wanted to play as well. It's such a nice club to come into every day, I am so close to everyone.
"Thanks to everyone associated with the club, even up to the owner and everyone behind the scenes as well as the players.
"They have been unbelievable for me this week and made things a tad easier. I am sure my partner at home will be really proud too. It's a game that we can look back on with a lot of pride."
For United, the result ended a week to forget as a goalless draw at home to West Ham was followed up by Champions League elimination with defeat in Wolfsburg.
With injuries ravaging their squad, particularly in defence, Van Gaal was forced to name an inexperienced back-line on the south coast.
Both full-backs, Cameron Borthwick-Jackson and Guillermo Varela, were making their full Premier League debuts, with 20-year-old Paddy McNair and makeshift defender Daley Blind completing their defence.
Michael Carrick captained the side and knows they now need to respond and get back in the title picture, starting with victory over Norwich on Saturday.
"The only thing to do now is stick together, get back to the training ground, work hard and perform next week," he told MUTV.
"That is the only way to put things right, on the pitch. We can do a lot of talking but it's about results and, starting next week, we have to go on a run."