ANTON FERDINAND has opened up about the aftermath of being on the receiving end of alleged racial abuse from John Terry back in 2011.
The centre-back was playing for Queens Park Rangers against Chelsea at Loftus Road.
The R’s managed to secure a priceless 1-0 victory over their West London rivals, but the match was overshadowed by one of the most controversial incidents in Premier League history.
An FA panel found Terry guilty of ‘using abusive and/or insulting words … which included a reference to colour and/or race’ during the match.
And Ferdinand, now 35, has opened up on the harrowing aftermath, with his mum having subsequently passed away from cancer.
He told the Guardian: “There were ripple effects.
“Her house was targeted. Eggs and bricks were thrown. There were death threats.
“I know it wasn’t my fault that she fell ill, but consciously [the worry] was always there.
“Watching the documentary through my family’s eyes I understood that my mum couldn’t help when normally she would have done.
“She was watching her son go through something she went through many years ago.
“I was able to understand why subconsciously I blamed myself, why at times I couldn’t sleep and I was frightened of myself.”
Ferdinand also went into detail on the match itself, as well as his experience of the life-changing incident.
He said: “They had two players sent off. We were winning and they were desperate to get back in the game. John came up for a long throw and I eased him out of the way.
“He fell theatrically to try and get a penalty and I turned round and said: ‘Get up, you’re bigger than me.’ He ran and barged me, so I barged him back.
“The game got stopped, words were exchanged and it was our free-kick. Paddy Kenny comes to take the free-kick. John jogs back into his position and then he said whatever he said while the camera panned on him.
“I didn’t hear anything at the time. I was back in the game. We went on to win and I was buzzing.
After the final whistle, Terry came to see Ferdinand: “We had a chat in the dressing room. He asked if I’m OK. I said: ‘Yeah, I’m fine’, oblivious to what had gone on.
My mum said: ‘Did John Terry racially abuse you, Anton?’ I said: ‘No.’ My wife went: ‘You’d better look at this.’
“I embraced him and then went upstairs. My family were in a box and I walked in with a spring in my step. I was so happy. It was very quiet and my mum said: ‘Anton, are you all right?’ My wife went: ‘Are you OK?’ I said: ‘Yeah, we just beat Chelsea!’
“My mum said: ‘Did John Terry racially abuse you, Anton?’ I said: ‘No.’ My wife went: ‘You’d better look at this.’ She handed me the phone. I see [Terry clearly saying the offensive words], give it back and go to walk downstairs. The only person who could have stopped me that day was my mum.”
Terry was subsequently banned by the FA for four matches and fined £220,000, as well as being stripped of the England captaincy, which prompted Fabio Capello to resign.
Ferdinand has now participated in a BBC documentary entitled, ‘Anton Ferdinand: Football, Racism and Me’, which will air on BBC One on November 30.