Non-league player Linford Harris quits football after suffering alleged racial abuse

Non-league player Linford Harris quits football after suffering alleged racial abuse

A non-league player has quit football at the age of 24 after allegedly suffering racial abuse in a cup final.

FC Wymeswold’s Linford Harris and his team-mates walked off the pitch 12 minutes before the end of the Saturday Vase Final against Cosby United on Wednesday.

Racism still exists in football

Harris told BBC Radio 5 Live: “I’ve got sent off, and as I’ve been sent off they were making comments saying, ‘typical black man, ruining the game for everyone again’, and by the time I’ve come out of the changing room, there’s been a little altercation.

“I’ve said to a couple of lads, ‘what’s happened?’ and we all got together and said we aren’t tolerating it and we walked out as one. I feel it’s the right choice.

“We had no back-up from the FA, the officials weren’t doing anything to solve it so it was off our own backs to deal with it in the right way.

“The official at the time, he didn’t have a clue what was going on. The linesman heard it, he just made a comment saying it was out of order and that was it.

“I’ve got family members there, they were actually behind the guy. The officials told my family members to leave instead of him, which is a joke, and everyone witnessed that also.

Danny Rose has said he ‘can’t wait’ to retire due to racial abuse

“How openly racist it was in front of so many people of different ages, there were kids there, I couldn’t believe it.”

It was the first time Harris has experienced racial abuse and it has put him off the game for life.

“I’m packing the lot in,” he said. “I can’t go through anything like that again. It’s too low for me. I’ve never really experienced that before in person.

“Of course when it happens to people like (Raheem) Sterling and Danny Rose, it hurts me as well.

“It’s what I’ve always done, it’s what I love, and sure that’s why they aren’t giving up either because that’s what they love. But, for someone at my level, it isn’t worth getting that out of it.”

The incident is being investigated by the Leicestershire and Rutland County FA, which says it will take the ‘necessary discipline action’.