SOCCER star John Terry's father spoke of his relief yesterday after an Old Bailey jury cleared him of a racist attack on an Asian man.
Ted Terry (59) was accused of calling railway customer services worker Amarjit Talafair a "f****** Paki" before headbutting him outside a City of London pub on March 22 last year.
A jury of seven men and five women took an hour and 20 minutes to find him not guilty of racially-aggravated common assault and racially-aggravated fear or provocation of violence.
Terry appeared emotional as he left the courtroom with colleagues and co-defendants Stephen Niland (36) and Tudor Musteata (47) who were also cleared of hurling racist abuse at Mr Talafair.
"I just feel relieved really," the former England captain's father said.
"It's been a hard year for all of us. We all felt it was nothing, really. It was stupid." Later he said: "I'm just going home and I'm going to phone John up."
Outside the court building the defendants, who work together as decorators, hugged each other and their family members.
During the five-day trial, defence barristers argued that the prosecution's witnesses all knew each other and had conspired together to back up Mr Talafair's race abuse claims.
Mr Talafair told the jury he had suffered no injury from Terry's alleged headbutt because he was able to get out of the way in time. He admitted calling Terry a "fat bald prick" during the stand-off and that he had only reported the incident to police the following day after researching him online. He also admitted asking officers about taking his story to the press, but was told it would hamper the investigation.
He said that as a football fan he had been aware that John Terry had stood trial in 2012 for allegedly racially abusing former QPR defender Anton Ferdinand.
The Chelsea captain was cleared by a court but later faced disciplinary action from the FA, sparking his retirement from the national side.