Former England international footballer Jermaine Jenas has talked about the horrific racist abuse he experienced when playing for England against Spain in 2004.
Twelve years ago England travelled to Spain to play an international friendly at the Bernabeu at a time when David Beckham was lording it in midfield for Real Madrid and a young Wayne Rooney was causing much salivation among England and Manchester United fans having just moved to Old Trafford that summer.
It was, as Henry Winter wrote at the time, "supposed to be about bringing people together, about celebrating Spain's 500th fixture". But it turned into a very ugly evening. Luis Aragones, the Spanish head coach, had made racially charged comments about Thierry Henry shortly before the match and the players responded by lining up pre-match behind a banner declaring "all united against racism in football".
But that changed little, as Jermaine Jenas outlined on BBC Radio 5 Live this evening. Jenas, who came on as a substitute just before the hour mark along with Shaun Wright-Phillips, detailed the abuse himself, Wright-Phillips, Ashley Cole and Rio Ferdinand received on the night from the Spanish fans.
'They were monkey chanting at the top of their lungs'@JJenas8 on racism at the Bernabeu when playing for England: https://t.co/p9SMiDD1kT
— BBC 5 live Sport (@5liveSport) November 25, 2016
Winter wrote that although "England lost a football match last night...Spain shamefully lost something far more important; Spain lost their right to be considered a civilised footballing nation" and concluded thus:
Last night was not about English flaws; it was about Spanish excess.