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John Terry 'will not be called racist', trial hears

Category: England

Published: 10th Jul 2012 11:41:46

Chelsea captain John Terry said he was "not prepared to be called a racist", his trial has heard.

He is at Westminster Magistrates' Court over allegations he racially abused QPR's Anton Ferdinand.

The case relates to a comment allegedly made to Queens Park Rangers defender Mr Ferdinand when the teams played last October.

The 31-year-old former England captain denies a racially-aggravated public order offence.

The court was played an interview between FA investigator Jennifer Kennedy and Mr Terry carried out a week after the game.

In it, Mr Terry said: "I have been called a lot of things in my football career on and off the pitch, but being called a racist I am not prepared to take.

"That's why I came out and made my statement immediately.

"I am not having Anton thinking that about me or anyone else. That's not my character at all."

Mr Terry told the investigator that Mr Ferdinand was shouting abuse at him over allegedly having an affair with Chelsea team-mate Wayne Bridge's girlfriend.

I have never been accused of that before, inside or outside football”

He said of the racism accusation: "I was hurt by it, taken aback and really surprised.

"I have never been accused of that before, inside or outside football.

Mr Terry claimed that when players sign for Chelsea he takes care of them and welcomes them into his home regardless of their colour.

The footballer revealed he is frequently abused by fans and other players over his alleged relationship with Vanessa Perroncel.

"As a footballer you have to take it on the chin a bit," he added.

If found guilty, the maximum sentence Mr Terry could receive is a £2,500 fine.

It is alleged the Chelsea defender insulted Mr Ferdinand by calling him black with the use of extreme sexual swear words.

On Monday, Mr Ferdinand told a court he would have been "very hurt" if he had heard Mr Terry racially abuse him.

Lip reader and sign language interpreter Susan Whitewood concurred the bad language had been employed.

Mr Ferdinand told the court he initially did not think any racist terms had been used.

But after the match, his girlfriend at the time played him a YouTube clip and he changed his mind.

Police questioned Mr Terry under caution in November and a file on the matter was sent to the Crown Prosecution Service at the beginning of December.

The decision to investigate the former England captain was taken when police received a complaint from a member of the public after the Premier League match at Loftus Road.

As a summary offence under the Crime and Disorder Act, it is being heard in a magistrates' court.

Mr Ferdinand has played for West Ham, Sunderland and QPR and is the brother of Rio Ferdinand, Mr Terry's England team-mate and defensive partner for the national side.

The trial continues.

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