If you haven’t experienced racism, it’s very difficult to understand it | Danny Gabbidon

Years after I was targeted by Serbia-Montenegro fans, England’s players endured the same abuse. Time for action and education

Sadness. That was the overriding feeling for me when I was racially abused playing for my country. It was August 2003, I was 24 years old, and just starting out on my international career with Wales. We were playing Serbia-Montenegro away in a Euro 2004 qualifier in Belgrade and I knew beforehand that it was going to be a hostile atmosphere. One or two of the experienced players had marked our cards in that respect. But nothing really prepares you for hearing monkey noises when you’re on a football pitch.

Related: Uefa president decries racist abuse ‘disaster’ during England game

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