John Beresford has been on some journey in his football career.

As a kid he would go and watch Sheffield United before making it as a professional football player.

Ending up at Newcastle United, he had the best years of his football life under Kevin Keegan.

The move to St James Park also led to him eventually coming into contact with Tyneside based Show Racism The Red Card (SRTRC)

The ant-racism/discrimination organisation do great work in educating people, especially kids, and only last year John Beresford was awarded the MBE due to his work with SRTRC.

Interestingly, and bravely, Beresford has now admitted that back in the day, he was one of those he is now trying to educate.

The retired player saying that back in his days supporting Sheffield United, he was part of the ‘mob culture’ on the terrace, making monkey noises and other racist chants.

Born in 1966, like Newcastle fans who are now in their 50s or so, John Beresford was part of the terrace culture of the 70s and 80s.

As those of us who were around then know, it was common place to have racist chanting at many/most stadiums, including St James Park.

I can imagine Sheffield being very similar to Newcastle back then, at the football you would see very very few non-white faces.

There must have been some strange thoughts going through Beresford’s head in the 1990s as he thought back to his racist behaviour as a kid/youth, now playing next to some of the best players Newcastle have ever seen, the likes of Andy Cole and Les Ferdinand, plus of course the cult hero that was Tino Asprilla.

If anything, talking about his life’s journey and own education, only strengthens John Beresford’s hand when working with SRTRC, and explaining/educating young people why racism/discrimination has no place in the modern day.

John Beresford speaking to ITV:

“In the late seventies black players were few and far between, but I would be doing the monkey chants, I would be shouting abuse and things like that.

“I was part of a mob culture…it wasn’t a time great for supporters, it was quite volatile.

“When I was younger, I was never told what was right and what was wrong.

“Meeting people and understanding how wrong it was, helped change my views.”



  • MichaelMaximusMoose

    Racism in any form is abhorrent, he`s not brave he`s just admitting that when he was young he was an A $$hole

    • Steve Smith

      In the current group think mob mentality world, it would have been easier to stay quiet. I’d say he was brave. As you’ve demonstrated people easily jump on abhorrent behaviour.

      • Rich Lawson

        He didn’t have to say it,fair play to the bloke.

      • MichaelMaximusMoose

        no matter what era it is it`s not acceptable, of course it depends on how you`re brought up. i don`t jump on bandwagons OK

    • MancToon

      “he’s admitting when he was younger he was an A $$hole”.

      Like he says “when he was younger” he wasn’t told about racism. I don’t even think racism was a ‘thing’ in those days was it?

      How would he have known what he was doing was wrong, if what he was doing wasn’t ever classed as wrong when he was doing it??

      Also, how many people would stand up now and admit what they were doing back in those days? Probably not many.

      I commend him for coming out and saying what he was like and admitting he was wrong.

      It takes a brave and honourable man to do something like that.

      • MichaelMaximusMoose

        his parents should have guided him, there`s no excuse for ignorance.
        mine had zero tolerance

  • Rich Lawson

    It was a different era,we are (hopefully) better educated now.I do remember the shock/discontent when Jack Charlton signed Tony Cunningham tho’ ? Things change.

    • Wor Lass

      Yet players like Albert Johanneson and John Charles were playing at the top for Leeds and noone seemed to bat an eyelid from what I remember.

      • Rich Lawson

        Clyde Best for West Ham of all people,smashing player.

      • Rich Lawson

        Thought John Charles was Welsh and white ? Johanneson had some problems from the Yorkies to begin with but strangely once he did it on the pitch quietly accepted !

        • Wor Lass

          John Charles was black and he was Welsh but he still played for Leeds. You`re right, doing the business on the pitch does tend to quieten the bigots.

          • MichaelMaximusMoose

            according to Google he was White, how many John Charles is there
            😂😂😂

          • Wor Lass

            Wrong John Charles! John William Charles – played for W Ham. Your sort of guy, “Charles admitted to being part of a strong drinking culture which existed at West Ham in the 1960s which gave rise to their slogan ″Win, Draw or Lose, we’re on the booze″.

          • Rich Lawson

            Loved that,Bobby Moore,poster boy for England and one of the all time greats was apparently the hardest drinker of the lot.I’ve read one East End tavener even gave him a key so he and Redknapp etc could come in late at night and run their own honesty bar !

          • MichaelMaximusMoose

            read a book he`s was always on the drink with Greavsie yet both were World class

          • Rich Lawson

            Had a mate who played for Sheff ‘Wed in the 60’s/early 70’s,they hammered it but could always run it off in training the next day.

          • Wor Lass

            Most famous and most talented of the lot – George Best. Say no more!

          • Rich Lawson

            Best player I ever saw by miles,he could do the lot in an era when ref’s didn’t protect them from ”assasins” To this day I rmbr goin to Roker Pk with me dad as a treat to see the Man Utd stars,Law,Charlton etc in the 60’s and he had the ball and both Irwin and Ashurst went to close him down and he knocked the ball between them and ran round to collect it.Sounds simple,but it was a sublime piece of football.Sadly he is only thought of for the drink these days.

          • Wor Lass

            Agreed – my all-time best ever seen. And he could handle the knocks. I remember Chopper Harris just bouncing off him in one game. (and I don`t mean bouncing off his fist) and he went on to score a great goal.

          • Rich Lawson

            For what looked like a slight lad he was very robust,don’t rmbr him being injured much.As you say Ron Harris,Mackay,Hunter,Bonds he saw the lot of them off.If anything he is underrated.

          • Wor Lass

            I remember a photo of Alan Hudson in hospital with a drip rigged up. In the caption it said the liquid in the bag was vodka and cranberry juice! (it was going in his gob not his veins, by the way)

          • Rich Lawson

            I like it better when the drink just goes thro’ them and doesn’t dictate their life.Hudson was so talented,a joy to watch and then he finishes up broke,living with his daughter wearing a trilby to cover his baldness with Alzimers. It was lovely that QPR gave him that game last season where he got to walk onto the pitch and take the applause one last time.

          • MichaelMaximusMoose

            The Army led me astray, well that`s my excuse

          • Peaky Magpie

            Clarko actually might answer that question for you if you give him a couple of hours….scanning the worlds census records as we speak…

          • Rich Lawson

            I don’t think he was,unless mixed race and light skinned ? He played in Italy back in the day when I don’t think it would have been tolerated ?

          • Wor Lass

            Juventus.

          • Rich Lawson

            That’s it,still much reguarded apparently.

          • Wor Lass

            OK, got the wrong John Charles – no need for anyone else to tell me!

    • MichaelMaximusMoose

      there`s guy in their 60`s on here & i`ll bet none of them are racist,
      there`s no excuse for it. my dad`s in his 60`s & he`s never ever uttered a word about it

    • Jezza

      I had it on very good authority that Tony Cunningham was signed entirely on the recommendation of Maurice Setters and that no one was more shocked/discontented than J**k C******n himself when the player arrived at St James’s Park.

      • Rich Lawson

        Maurice Setters,there’s a name from the past,rmbr when he played for Coventry,he was made of stone,proper old style centre back.Did Jack not know Cunningham was black or anything about him then ?

        • Jezza

          Precisely. He didn’t know Tony Cunningham was black. C******n and Setters went to meet Tony Cunningham off the train at Central Station and upon seeing the player for the first time C******n remarked “you never said he was a f****n d**kie”.

          • Kev Newcastle England

            Why do you star out Charltons name?

          • Jezza

            Because he’s a thoroughly horrible unpleasant person and I can’t stand him.

          • Rich Lawson

            Always disliked him as a negative player and manager,didn’t think he could go down any further in my estimation but that’s almost unbelievable (but clearly was a done deal )

          • Jezza

            Yes supposedly he racially abused Tony Cunningham on a daily basis in training. I was told that by a Newcastle director in the late 80’s. C******n is just a thoroughly vile loathsome individual in every respect.

  • Bob Burton

    I was going back then, it was a different era. Most our parents were racist without even meaning to be, so it past down. My dad regularly called me a N…. lover because I was into soul music. He didn’t mean it offensively, he just didn’t know any better. The entire country was racist if we’re brutal.
    Times have changed. Education is better and we’ve moved on.

    • Wor Lass

      Similar to the whole business of “sexploitation”, if that`s what it`s called. Oppression of anyone weaker than you – whatever form it takes – is never right but prevailing attitudes change what people are prepared to accept. It`s never far below the surface, though, but the target keeps changing. At the moment it`s mainly muslims.

      • MichaelMaximusMoose

        Depends how you`re brought up

        • Wor Lass

          Looking back, both of my parents were definitely racist in their opinions but they would never have done anything “nasty” to someone because of their colour or religion. They also didn`t drum any prejudices into me. My dad`s family were died-in-the-wool proddies from Govan and absolutely hated Catholics. When I listened to my aunt ranting about the Papists it made me feel really uncomfortable even as a 10/11 year-old kid.

          • MichaelMaximusMoose

            As i say your parents are the one`s who define you.
            i swear like a trooper but not in front of my mam & dad.
            Mam was a teacher so any sort of bad behaviour was was frowned on

          • Wor Lass

            My dad was a copper – i couldn`t get away with anything!

          • MichaelMaximusMoose

            😂😂😂
            Asda today 3 for 2 Moet Chandon £27 a bottle
            so £54 for 3, in store only
            just got back 40 mins ago

          • Wor Lass

            That`s expensive where I live! he he

          • Peaky Magpie

            Have you drunk them yet or are they on ice to celebrate Hoss’s hat trick on Saturday???

          • Kev Newcastle England

            Doesnt match John Smiths 1.50 a pint in The Beehive

          • Rich Lawson

            Bang on,never in front of the folks or me kids when they were growing up

      • Jezza

        You are correct. Islamaphobia seems to have been invented as the new acceptable form of racism for the 21st century. You can’t be seen to be abusing black, Indian or Irish people any more so the racist establishment have simply found themselves a new target.

        • Geordiegiants

          No Jezza the it’s either the Muslims causing all the trouble or the media for reporting it. People don’t just all start hating Muslims for nothing.

          • Wor Lass

            The thing is, mate, people need to hate the terrorists not Muslims in general. It`s the same in all things – don`t tar everyone with the same brush.

          • Geordiegiants

            I have a lot of Muslim aquantences, a lot. My next door neighbour is a Muslim and he has bought his kids up to do what they want and I’m very friendly with them all, but I was told at 9/11 from a Muslim friend / aquantence that every single family from grandparents down over were cheering on the incident. You say it’s not all Muslims but, every incident is a Muslim, what are people supposed to do? Sit like the fans in our stadium and do f all, say nothing and crack on and hope it goes away? People are terrified of the Muslim community, and in general they openly do nothing to intergrate with the rest of society, as thier religion blatantly dictates not to.

          • Wor Lass

            We need to agree to disagree and get back to the footy, I reckon. Fingers crossed for a massive three points this weekend.

          • Geordiegiants

            I agree whole heartedly!

      • Geordiegiants

        To be fair it’s always Muslims that are being reported for causing trouble. Is it the Muslims or is it the media?

    • Jezza

      Sadly there is still a lot of racism in this country in 2018.

      • Geordiegiants

        No there isn’t, even the far right groups arent racist anymore. The word racism is far to over used, even old school people who were bought up racist aren’t racist these days, but that term is widely used to bash people with for having any different view. Most people are afraid of losing their identity and heritage and are branded racist for wanting to slow down immigration. The thing is the majority have spoken and Brexit has happened. 100% down to “racism”.

  • Monkseaton Magpies

    I never joined in any of these chants but what sticks in my mind were two matches.
    The first when Sunderland had two black players sent off and nearly the whole ground singing a pop song. The second was reference to Man Utd again thousands singing a really sick song not a minority. Probably what helped was I went to the matches with two lads who were of different colour great guys who were well respected by fellow fans especially at away games when often we were few in number. Even in the 1970’s people could make up their own mind and I found the racism side and anti Man Utd song really disturbing.

    • Wor Lass

      I can remember local youngsters in the East End buying up fruit before the Liverpool match to throw at John Barnes. Most of them had never met a black person in their life but, as John Beresford says, it was mob mentality. Following the herd. I think howard Gayle did a lot to change attitudes on the terraces.

      • Davey drape

        Agree re HG. great point. I used to know a lovely Black fella from walker (called Frankie) who worked down the shipyards and it makes me wonder what he had to put up with in those days (70s/80s)

    • paul mclaughlan

      Wasn’t Pal and Wizz? Both mental as anything, mixed race and as racist as anyone else at the match in the 70/80s.

  • robbersdog

    It’s horrible to think that, when I was young, there were actually monkey chants aimed at Black players. I went to a lot of matches in the late 70’s, and I don’t remember seeing/hearing any racism, but maybe it was so normalised that it didn’t even register in my consciousness.

    Sadly, it still happens in some countries, particularly Russia and Poland.

  • Anita kick up the Hoop

    Not until Andy Cole did you see a big shift in attitude at St James .. I remember clearly standing at the Gallowgate turnstiles where the NF handed out pamphlets… it wasn’t anything out of the ordinary just football in that era. We all know it wasn’t right with hindsight but most of the ones doing it were just teenagers who didn’t have any real idea what bigotry or racism was.

  • ghostrider

    Racism applies to all races not just whites being racist to all races.
    Media hype is the cause of racism because it’s not as rife as is being made out.
    It might have been years ago but certainly not now.
    Why?
    Because I’m willing to bet that nearly every white fan or person in this country have many friends of all races.

    • Philippines

      Bernard Manning for one… a Citeh supporter. Joke only.

  • Grahame Johnson

    To start off I use my proper name, I’ve been racist,sexist,homophobic,violent and a utter @#$# at matches, I’ve changed lucky enough before I had kids, I was on 606 a few years ago before I talked to ian wright I had to admit to it then say sorry as I would have been a hypocrite, I’ve changed as a person but that change is for nothing if I behave in any of them ways at the match on Saturday

    • robbersdog

      Thanks for sharing that!

      • Kev Newcastle England

        Clown

        • robbersdog

          I’ve scrolled through your comments history, and about 60% of them are gratuitous insults hurled at people that you appear to randomly target.

          Whatever personality disorder you suffer from, I doubt very much that being an aggressive troll makes you feel better about yourself.

          Now p*ss off!

          • Kev Newcastle England

            Scrolling peoples comments.A stalker!!! You absolute saddo.

          • robbersdog

            You remind me of Monty Python’s ‘Argument Clinic’ sketch. If you haven’t seen it, it’s on YouTube.

            BTW, you should never go overboard on exclamation-marks; it makes you look like a nutter…which, of course, you are.

    • Wor Lass

      Good for you, mate. Did you used to work at Jesmond baths, by any chance?

  • Peter

    I remember hearing John say this before. It is good that he talks about it, to help people to understand why such appalling behaviour happened in the first place and why it is so wrong.

  • Geordiegiants

    “Racism” is used to call out anyone with any different view from a left wing snowflake. I hate the word and the hype surrounding it, people are called racist for any thing these days, it’s out of order. It’s like people aren’t allowed to have an opinion unless it’s 100% PC without being called racist. I personally think it’s gets people’s backs up.

    • HarryHype59

      I think it is a term that has been widely misused and is now debased to the point, that it has become a meaningless label.

  • HarryHype59

    The only time I was close getting in a fight at SJP, was the occasion I asked some idiot not to stop the racist abuse aimed at Cyril Regis when he played for Coventry in the 1980’s.

    I pointed out that Cyril was a big lad and that the offender wouldn’t make abusive racist statements to his face.

    “What’s your fuc***g problem was the reply”

    I am pleased football fans have moved on since the late 1980s.