Anton Ferdinand describes the moment when he first found out that he was being racially abused by the English captain.
It was October 2011 and QPR had just beaten nine-man Chelsea 1-0 in a bad-tempered derby in West London in which Ferdinand and John Terry were embroiled in heated verbal exchanges.
After the game, Ferdinand visited his family in his hospitality box on Loftus Road, unaware that he was at the center of the biggest storm of racism in English football history.
Anton Ferdinand (above) spoke for the first time about the shocking events nine years ago
John Terry (third from left) is said to have racially abused Ferdinand (far left) during a derby
"I boxed with a brag because we'd just beat Chelsea," the 35-year-old recalled. "My mother said," Anton, are you okay? "and I said," Yeah, of course we just beat Chelsea. "My wife said to me," Well, you better look at this "and gave me her brother's phone.
“This is the first time I've seen it. I look at the phone and anger was just overwhelming me. Do you know when you say your blood is boiling? It just hit me.
"He had said," You f ****** black c ***, you f ****** button head ". I had no idea that something like this had happened on the court. I never heard a thing what was said.
"I couldn't believe what I was seeing. I felt hurt, but mostly angry with him. I wanted to go and hurt him.
Ferdinand addressed the incident in a 2011 BBC documentary Football, Racism and me
“It was only because my mother was at the game. She was the only person who could have stopped me. She said, "I know what you want to do, but now is not the time."
"After that moment things weren't the same. The way it was dealt with afterwards made things get out of hand."
Ferdinand first speaks about what happened nine years ago in a powerful new documentary – Football, Racism and Me – which will air on BBC One on Monday.
At this point he was silent in public on the advice of lawyers who did not want to interfere with a possible criminal trial. But Ferdinand speaks to a psychotherapist on the program and admits: “I still have the feeling that I have let people down because they haven't spoken. I still feel guilty and that eats me up more than anything. I don't know how to get rid of it. "
The 35-year-old advertised the documentary, which touched his feelings back in 2011
After the video footage of Terry's outbreak in Ferdinand went viral, a member of the public filed a formal complaint with the police about the Chelsea center-back who was freed by the English captain in February 2012. Five days later, Fabio Capello resigned as an international manager.
The case was brought to trial in July 2012. Terry's defense was that he believed Ferdinand accused him of saying "f ****** black c ***" and that he merely repeated the words to him while denying them first.
Although the court found Terry's version of events "unlikely", there was ample doubt and he was released from racial abuse.
However, the FA demanded less evidence for their own investigation and two months later they found Terry – whom they had already sacked as captain – guilty of racial abuse and banned him for four games.
"When Terry lost the captain, it was like it was my fault and I was booed everywhere I played," said Ferdinand. “It felt like I was the one who deserved to be racially abused.
Terry (left) was found not guilty of criminal charges, but the FA later found him guilty of racism
"Things were thrown in my mother's house – eggs, bricks, the lot. I got hate mail saying" I'm going to rape your mother and sister "and bullets in the mail.
“My social media went crazy. Abuse after abuse. You can't handle it mentally. I can stand there and be macho and say I wasn't traumatized, but I actually was.
“All this love was torn out of me. I hated the game. I don't want my worst enemy to feel the way I felt. "
Amazingly, Ferdinand was again racially abused on social media this week after promoting his documentary in which he heartbreakingly admits that he feels guilty about his mother, who has cancer and dies in 2017.
"I wish it hadn't had the impact it had on my family," he says. “It would have hurt my mother if I had done this in front of all of England. Then she got sick.
Ferdinand (pictured for West Ham) described the agony his family suffered afterwards
“My mother died of cancer and I'm sitting here today thinking this is my fault. I participated in these things that happened to my family. "
On the program, Ferdinand Terry emails to speak to him for the first time since the Loftus Road tunnel, when they hugged after the now Aston Villa coach asked if we were cool and their sharing referred to as "a bit" by Scherz & # 39 ;.
Terry didn't reply to the email. Instead, his agents told the producers that he "wanted to get on with his life and career and not reopen a judicial case on television".
"I saw John Terry take his knee, fair to him," adds Ferdinand, who has never apologized from his older brother Rio's former English team-mate. “I hope that he sincerely takes his knee and shows that he is against racism. I hope it's from a good place. But don't just take one knee, come and talk about it. "
Anton Ferdinand: Football, Racism and Me, Monday, November 30th, 9 p.m., BBC One
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