I'm Behind Anton but I Didn't Hear Terry Say Anything

Article excerpt

Byline: ByMalcolm Folley

SHAUN DERRY was indignant. Arriving early as usual at Queens Park Rangers' training ground, close to Heathrow Airport, the 33-year-old midfielder in the form of his life had seen his name in the morning newspapers flashed across a TV screen in the canteen.

Those papers were not admiring the manner in which he had neutralised the threat of Chelsea's Frank Lampard in a performance many believe will prove pivotal to Rangers' survival in the Premier League.

Instead, his name was linked, as a primary witness, to the controversy that has shaken the foundations of English football. With Chelsea and England captain John Terry defending himself against an accusation that he had racially abused Anton Ferdinand at Loftus Road, reports claimed Derry had given a statement to those heading the investigation that QPR's management have asked the Football Association to conduct.

'I've done no such thing,' said Derry. 'I'm disappointed that some reporters can publish as fact something that never happened.' Along with club-mates Clint Hill and Paddy Kenny, Derry instantly requested that Sky Sports News broadcast a rebuttal of those stories published that morning.

'At this club, it's second nature to get behind a team-mate and we're all supporting Anton,' said Derry. 'But I am the wrong man to ask what happened. I was off the field when Terry clashed with Anton, then after I'd had treatment the only player I remember still being in our dressing room was Paddy [Kenny].' Derry had been subbed in the 81st minute of QPR's 1-0 win -- before the incident during which Terry admits he used the phrase 'black ****', although Chelsea's captain claims the context of his words means they could not be construed as racist.

Derry was receiving treatment in the medical room, down the corridor from the home dressing room, when Ferdinand received an invitation to meet Terry in the away changing room for a clearthe-air discussion which, clearly, failed abysmally. …