The veteran footballer has faced a storm of racism controversy after his recent on-pitch spat with QPR player Anton Ferdinand, which was broadcast live on television. He appeared to mouth the words ‘you —– black —-’.

The Chief Crown Persecutor Alison Saunder said,

“I have today advised the Metropolitan Police Service that John Terry should be prosecuted for a racially aggravated public order offence following comments allegedly made during a Premier League football match between Queen’s Park Rangers and Chelsea on 23 October 2011.”

She said there was “sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction and it is in the public interest to prosecute this case.”

Terry is now set to appear at West London Magistrate’s Court on February 1st 2012.

The beleaguered football star released a statement in his defence.

“I am disappointed with the decision to charge me and hope to be given the chance to clear my name as quickly as possible. I have never aimed a racist remark at anyone and count people from all races and creeds among my closest friends.

“I will fight tooth and nail to prove my innocence. I have campaigned against racism and believe there is no place for it in society.” he said.

Anton Ferdinand was recently alleged to have received a death threat over the ongoing Terry race row.

Main image: Terry competes with Victor Moses of Wigan Athletic, Dec 17 (Getty)