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After 30 years, I’m boycotting Aston Villa. Why? John Terry’s past racist language | Steve Bloomfield

In any other workplace Terry would have lost his job after the 2011 abuse of Anton Ferdinand, but not in football. So as long as he is a Villan, I’m not

• Steve Bloomfield is deputy editor of Prospect

I became an Aston Villa fan by chance. My dad, who grew up in north London, is an Arsenal fan, but because we lived in Birmingham he thought I should support a local team.

Villa had just been promoted to the first division, while Birmingham City still languished in the second, so he took me to Villa Park. My first match was a 1-1 draw with Liverpool in September 1988 – we sat on wooden benches at the front of the Trinity Road stand, close enough to the sidelines to hear the yells of the coaching staff and the thuds and grunts of the players. We went several times a year and when I turned 13 I bought a season ticket.

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