Raj Bains Exclusive – John Terry Interview
I recently got the chance to speak to English football legend and cultural icon John Terry at a fundraising event for his groundbreaking charity, “Poor Little Black Kids”. We spoke about his footballing career, Anton Ferdinand and his life after football as the UK’s Ambassador To Africa.
RLF.com: So John, how does it feel to be so loved by the Black community, both here in the UK and abroad?
JT: Oh I love ‘em y’know, there just the same as we are really, underneath it all. Seeing ‘em get clothes and food and that is lovely, you can tell their happy when they start banging drums and dancing [laughs]
RLF.com: It must be quite rewarding for someone like yourself, especially given the past.
JT: Yeah totally, I mean, that whole thing was rubbish really! Me, a raconist? I love everyone the same me, black people, the brown ‘uns and the yellow ‘uns from like China and that, we’re all just people, it’s nobodies fault being from abroad is it? Nobody really see’s that side of me. I love Bob Marley too, make sure you mention that. His song about ‘Superstition’ is a proper tune.
RLF.com: That’s amazing to hear, you obviously feel quite strongly about it. That’s why you retired from all forms of football when you did, isn’t it?
JT: Yeah, I didn’t want to, but I was told it was the right thing to do. I’ve not got any hard feelings against the Ferdinand boys, me and Ashley even offered to take them for a KFC sometime y’know? Nobody seems to have reported much on that. I didn’t want to play on being called a raconist by all the other fans, I needed to make name whiter than white again, that was the dream.
RLF.com: All that said though, you’re still booed at public appearances by some people, how does that feel?
JT: Like I said, I’m doing all I can to clear me name. As a proper serious Christianist, I do what Jesus said and turn the page when people say things, I know I’m the bigger man. People have accused me of this all being a stunt, calling me a fake and that, but I love God now init, Victor Moses is even my favourite footballer, and look how dark he is.
RLF.com: You really seem to care for the Black community, is that what made you want to become the UK’s African Ambassador?
JT: Yeah, it feels so good when I’m out Ambassadoring, it’s almost as important as playing for Chelsea was. I get to meet all the people out there, see em in their natural habitat and that, it’s interesting to see how they live so different from us here, it’s amazing to see ‘em all surviving and that. I’ve even seen the odd fit black bird on me travels, but don’t tell me Mrs! [laughs]
RLF.com: Is it true that you tried to play for the Nigerian National football team, but FIFA wouldn’t let you?
JT: Yeah yeah, I thought it might be nice for em to play with a proper footballer, who’s played on proper pitches with grass and that, I wanted to pass on my skills. But FIFA said I had to be born in Nigeria or something, and that none of my family were even Nigerianists, so it’s them that’s raconist’s if you ask me. I’m obviously not from there, I’m clearly white! But I just wanted to offer my feet as charity to them, I’d have loved to have played in the African Nations kickabout, it’s amazing that they’ve managed to organise their own tournament and that, really inspirational.
RLF.com: You run a youth club in Chelsea too don’t you, for underprivileged children in London?
JT: Yeah that’s an amazing feeling giving back to them, we put on all sorts for em, give em food like fish fingers and chips and that so they don’t have to go home and have curries or whatever. We make sure they’ll enjoy it too, we’ve got loads of Lilt stocked up and Cool Runnings on DVD, they all proper love it.
RLF.com: It really good to speak to you John, you seem to have everything in place, especially your heart – anything else you’d like to mention before we finish off the interview?
JT: Erm, no mate you’re alright, it was good to speak to you. You wouldn’t guess how many people don’t take me serious no more, most people just wanna ask me about all the bad stuff and end up writing things to laugh at me, but I’m really happy you asked me proper stuff and gave me chance. You’re one of few that seem to like me anymore you know, I don’t know what I’ve ever done wrong.
*John is available for personal appearances to make speeches about equal rights, and his charity work can also be found online. If you want to find out more about John’s charity – “Poor Little Black Kids” – a link can be found below”