John Terry: girlfriends, wives and mothers are fair game for abuse, but race is a no-go area

Chelsea player tells court he was in shock when he was accused of racially abusing opponent

The Chelsea and England footballer John Terry yesterday denied that he had "snapped" and used a racially abusive term, telling a court he had been subjected to so much abuse over an alleged affair with a former team-mate's girlfriend he no longer reacted to it.

Mr Terry, 31, gave evidence on the second day of his trial at Westminster magistrates' court for the alleged racial abuse of the Queens Park Rangers footballer Ferdinand during a game between their clubs last October.

Prosecutor Mr Duncan Penny accused him of having "snapped" at Mr Ferdinand over a sexual taunt.

Accusing Mr Terry of calling Mr Ferdinand a "f****** black c***" Mr Penny said: "The truth of the matter is you are not a racist but you used racist language. You snapped. It was instinctive. You were fed up with people abusing you over the issue with your wife."

In reference to that alleged affair with Vanessa Perroncel, former partner of his ex-Chelsea team-mate Wayne Bridge, Mr Terry replied: "I didn't snap. It was almost two years ago. I have heard it hundreds of times, a million times ... I would have snapped long before if that was the case. I have had 78,000 people in a stadium chanting it at me."

There was a culture among top footballers that they would find, Mr Penny said, "a point of vulnerability" with an opponent and then direct abuse at him. "When you abuse each other you use common-or-garden swearwords, c***, p****, f*** ... or other things, 'You are ugly' or 'You are fat'," Mr Penny said. "Comments about mothers?" Mr Terry replied: "I have had that".

Mr Penny said although there were "no-go areas" players considered inappropriate for abuse, "wives and girlfriends" were fair game.

Mr Terry admitted that "girls are part and parcel" of the abuse exchanged by players on the pitch but said he was "in shock" when he realised Mr Ferdinand was accusing him of having racially abused him. He said he repeated the abusive term back to Mr Ferdinand in disbelief at the accusation.

Earlier, the court had heard a recording of Mr Terry's interview with the Football Association official Jenny Kennedy, who began conducting an investigation before it was overtaken by the police inquiry. Mr Terry told Ms Kennedy: "I could have got 2,000 people in here [to attest he was not a racist]."

He also said in a statement to police read to the court that he had worked for charities established by former Chelsea players Didier Drogba, from the Ivory Coast and Marcel Desailly, from France, to do work in Africa. "My commitment to these projects demonstrates I am not a racist," he said.

For the defence, Mr George Carter-Stephenson QC said that Mr Ferdinand was an "unreliable witness" who had failed to mention his abuse of Mr Terry in his original statement to the FA. Detective Constable David Doherty said that Mr Ferdinand lived an "unstructured life" away from football and proved difficult to contact. Mr Terry denies the charge. The case continues.

 

Get Adobe Flash player

 



Arts and Entertainment
Gregg Wallace in Summer's Supermarket Secrets
tv All of this year's 15 contestants have now been named
Arts and Entertainment
Inside the gallery at Frederick Bremer School in Walthamstow
tvSimon Usborne goes behind-the-scenes to watch the latest series
Sport
The giant banner displayed by Legia Warsaw supporters last night
football Polish side was ejected from Champions League
Arts and Entertainment
Could we see Iain back in the Bake Off tent next week?
tv Contestant teased Newsnight viewers on potential reappearance
News
ebooksAn evocation of the conflict through the eyes of those who lived through it
Life and Style
A picture taken on January 12, 2011 shows sex shops at the Paris district of Pigalle.
news
News
i100(and it's got nothing to do with the Great British Bake Off)
News
Angelina Jolie with her father Jon Voight
peopleAsked whether he was upset not to be invited, he responded by saying he was busy with the Emmy Awards
News
Bill Kerr has died aged 92
peopleBill Kerr appeared in Hancock’s Half Hour and later worked alongside Spike Milligan and Peter Sellers
News
news It's not just the world that's a mess at the moment...
Sport
footballPremiership preview: All the talking points ahead of this weekend's matches
News
Keira Knightley poses topless for a special September The Photographer's issue of Interview Magazine, out now
people
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012
film Cara Delevingne 'in talks' to star in Zoolander sequel
News
i100
Sport
Mario Balotelli pictured in his Liverpool shirt for the first time
football
Life and Style
tech
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone