‘I wish I would’ve spoken’ – QPR former player talks 2011 incident involving Chelsea’s John Terry
Former Queens Park Rangers defender Anton Ferdinand has opened up on his struggles with racism and football, speaking openly about his 2011 incident with former Chelsea, Aston Villa and England defender John Terry.
The former Chelsea captain was alleged to have racially abused Ferdinand in QPR’s 1-0 win over Chelsea in October 2011.
A court of law found him not guilty, but a later hearing conducted by the FA dealt him with a hefty fine, and a four match ban.
Chelsea had two players sent off that day. It was a Heidar Helguson penalty that won the game for the Rs, but it will be a match remembered for the incident involving Ferdinand and Terry.
Speaking to The Guardian, Ferdinand explains how Terry approached him after the game:
“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. 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’s court case would be held in 2012 and after several weeks of hearings, he was found not guilty.
The FA however did find Terry guilty, but Ferdinand has spoken of his trauma at the events of that day, saying:
“Me and Rio were brought up to speak out. That’s why my mum and dad were so adamant and said: ‘Speak.’ Personally, it kills me I went against what I was brought up to do.
“But I was advised I couldn’t speak because we could harm the investigation. I wish I would have spoken but there was so much publicity and legalities. And, honestly, the pressure was too much.”
Having left QPR in 2013, Ferdinand went on to have spells in Turkey and Thailand, before returning to England with Reading in 2014.
From there he went on to spend two years at Southend United, before most recently featuring for Scottish club St Mirren.
Now aged 35, Ferdinand has seemingly called time on his footballing career, which saw him make 437 appearances as a professional footballer.
Terry meanwhile is working as Dean Smith’s no.2 at Aston Villa, and is being closely linked to a manager’s job all the time – Derby County most recently.