Former Bafana Bafana and AmaGlug-glug star Quinton Fortune has recalled a racial incident in Spain which left him at the ‘lowest point’ of his life.
Fortune started his professional career in Spain with Atletico Madrid before seven trophy-laden years with Manchester United.
But while in Spain, he endured abuse which even as a kid who grew up in Apartheid-era South Africa found difficult to stomach.
“I’ve never spoken about this much but the lowest point in my life was in Spain; not just as a football player, but as a human being,” Fortune told Sky Sports News.
“I was signed with Atletico Madrid and they loaned me out to Mallorca. My own team-mate racially abused me in training. I didn't know what to do. I was 17 or 18, I didn't know who to turn to, I didn't speak the language, and on top of that the manager didn't communicate with me. I had no support. I was just told to sit on the side of the pitch.
“I never prayed so much in all my life just to get away from that club. I'm sure many players went through worse experiences, but that for me was the lowest point because I had no mum or dad or brothers or anyone to turn to. This guy is a senior player in the team and he was saying all these things to me.
“Luckily for me, I got out of there. When I went back to Madrid I was so happy, just to get out of that environment. I made some very good friends in Madrid and carried on with my football. I’m sure many players went through more difficult [experiences], but you need support. It needs changing. It needs education.”