Court hears details of on-field row between former England skipper and QPR's Anton Ferdinand
A succession of Chelsea players had never heard their captain "use any form of racist language", John Terry's trial was told on Wednesday, as England player Ashley Cole said the case should never have come to court.
Appearing as a defence witness, Cole told Westminster magistrates court: "I think we shouldn't be sitting here".
He was near QPR defender Anton Ferdinand, 27, during the heated exchange with Terry in the 84th minute of the Loftus Road derby in west London on 23 October last year, he said.
The 31-year-old Chelsea and England left back said he thought he heard Ferdinand shout something – "I can't make out – him either saying Bridgey or black" – as the QPR player made a fist gesture indicating sex. Cole also heard the word "cunt", he said.
Terry denies a racially aggravated public order offence and calling Ferdinand a "fucking black cunt" after a dispute in the QPR penalty box. The former England captain claims he was sarcastically repeating the insult Ferdinand had accused him of, after Ferdinand had shouted abuse about an alleged affair between Terry and the ex-girlfriend of former team-mate Wayne Bridge.
Cole agreed he was a reluctant witness, and the case had caused him conflict. While he was a "close friend" of Terry, whom he had played alongside at Chelsea and for England, he had also known Ferdinand, his brother Rio, and their family, "for a long time".
After the incident, Cole said Terry spoke to him on the pitch about Ferdinand. "He said 'He thinks I'm being racist', or something along them lines," he said.
Cole said while he saw Ferdinand gesture and shout, he could not hear what Terry said.
After the match, Terry asked Ferdinand to come to the Chelsea dressing room and Cole heard Terry ask the QPR defender what had happened.
"I think John said 'Did you think I called you a black cunt, did you think I was being racist?'. "Then I said 'did you think John was being racist?'. Anton said 'no, no'," he said. The two players then shook hands.
Racism should not be tolerated, Cole said, but if you were repeating something someone else said it was "completely different". Asked by Terry's lawyer George Carter-Stephenson QC, if he had wanted to become involved, Cole said: "No". The FA had "summoned me" to make a statement, they drew it up and he asked it to be "neutral", he said.
Statements from 17 Chelsea players, including Frank Lampard, Fernando Torres and Petr Cech were read out testifying they had neither heard Terry use racist language, nor heard any suggestion he may have done so.
Former Chelsea manager José Mourinho, in a written character reference, praised the Chelsea centre back for his off-field championing of campaigns such as Let's Kick Racism Out of Football. "I am certain that John Terry is not racist," wrote Mourinho, now manager of Real Madrid.
Chelsea FC chairman, Bruce Buck, said Terry had "an almost uncanny mental strength" and he still did his job on the field even when there were "bumps and bruises" in his personal life .
The prosecution alleges Terry's "blood was up", he "snapped" and used racist language because Ferdinand had taunted him about the alleged affair. Duncan Penny, prosecuting, asked if Terry could "think of any reason" why Ferdinand would make such a serious allegation about him. Terry replied: "No", and added he could not answer that question.
Terry denies he "snapped", and said he had heard abuse about the alleged affair, "hundreds of times".
He said after the incident he "tried to make contact with Rio [Ferdinand's brother]. Rio didn't take my call".
He said he put his statement out immediately after the game, and without waiting to see footage "because I knew I had nothing to hide. I knew there was nothing out there that could show I had done anything wrong," he said. Read More
انسخ الكود التالى و ضعه فى موقعك او مدونتك.