Arsenal former Liverpool and Millwall footballer Jimmy Carter believes his single-minded determination and endurance was key to defying racism and getting the Premier League’s first footballer.
Says mindset and the strong personality is vital in watching more British Asians break in the game.
Despite there now being 3,700 professional soccer players from the English game, only 11 are out of a British Asian heritage, which makes up for just 0.3 percent of the full total.
“We discuss the characters but what finally brings players through is not skill but the all-round package,” Carter told Sky Sports News as part of the’Tackling Racism’ show focusing on British Asians.
“It’s the personality and character of the person that sees footballer make itall.
“Dogged determination and resilience and the notion that nothing will stage you’re unquestionably a strong portion of it.
“It is when you face adversity and how you react that things and if you don’t have the strength of character you are never likely to return.
“Racial abuse was not likely to knock me off my focus to develop into the player I dreamt I would be.
“There was no Plan B to get me personally I had only 1 purpose and, for me, I was destined to become a professional football player by hook or by crook, no-one was going to get in my way”
This was Carter’s hard core determination to reach the greatest possible level, he felt the necessity to show his mixed-race heritage, with his background coming to light.
“I’m very proud of my heritage, I was brought up with my Dad as an Indian child living on rice and curry daily,” Carter said.
“It wasn’t a conscious decision of holding the data, I just wanted to get on with what I wished to do and I just didn’t think it was applicable.
“Obviously, from an early age, I had been aware of racism because of my skin colour.
“It pretty much shows I’m not entirely English but to a degree, because my surname was Carter rather than Asian seeming, then the misuse and racism I encountered was not that bad.
“Had I been known as’Singh’ or’Patel’ or something then it definitely would have been ten times worse. I guess I’got out of it’ for big pieces of my profession.”
In spite of this, Carter still recalls receiving racial abuse during his lifetime – in the early days of playing district soccer in south London against”tough kids from the likes of Blackheath” into Tuesday night trips up north as an expert.
“When you are young it isn’t pleasant getting abuse but that I always strove to be the bigger person,” Carter explained.
“And I remember going to your away grounds, particularly up north, that one guy, he is coming at me with so much hatred in his encounter
“He’s hurling abuse at me, spitting and that I was just thinking – what is this guy on?
“So I just smiled at him and it seemed to make him much more challenging – I only thought he had so much hatred for mehe must have massive problems.
“But, in the close of the afternoon, it is the best way to deal with it.”
Throughout the meeting, Carter speaks affectionately about his dad and his background in the infantry meant a rigorous, military upbringing that finally helped him to realize his objective of becoming a footballer.
Despite admitting his dad’s insistence on early-morning runs in the arctic cold to give Carter”one up” on his district soccer team-mates, Carter says deep down his Dad was a”soft, handsome guy”.
And it was for this very reason, Carter admits that he never told his father about any of this abuse he confronted.
“I went home and told my Dad I got racial abuse because I know how much that could have hurt him – he would have felt bad for me personally and felt accountable,” he explained.
“He’d have believed that due to the color of the skin, I was becoming abuse and stick and that I simply didn’t need that for him personally .”
Watch the’Tackling Racism’ show on Sky Sports News and Sky Sports Main Event on Mondays at 9pm.

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