Mansfield Town midfielder Geohaghon considered retirement following racism row with own fans

The midfielder is preparing for his greatest career moment when his side face giants Liverpool in the FA Cup at a 7,500 sell-out crowd but he could have turned his back on the game
Mansfield Town's Exodus Geohaghon is relishing the prospect of facing Liverpool in the FA Cup after becoming a victim of racism two years ago and almost quitting the sport.

The 27-year-old was targeted by his own fans back in 2010 when he turned out for Port Vale following a 3-0 defeat to Accrington Stanley and was involved in a bust-up with a section of the support.

“What happened to me probably happens all over the country, but people don’t really hear about it. It’s starting to creep in here, there and everywhere and it needs to be stamped out,” Geohaghon told The Telegraph.

“Racism has always been there but people are speaking up about it now and beginning to realise something needs to be done. But the changes need to be made at home, I’ve said this time and time again, you can’t really uproot people out of the stadium because everybody is entitled to their opinion. Some people just express it differently.

“It changed my whole outlook. Did I think about packing football in? Most definitely. But it’s one of those things that you can’t afford to let ruin your career.
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“Some small-minded people want to cost you a lifetime of earning good money and doing something that you enjoy just because they’ve said something. But it’s out of order."

The midfielder faced an investigation by the Football Association in the aftermath and admitted he was affected more by the events that followed than the initial incident with the supporters.

“For them not to be reprimanded is probably the biggest thing. For the PFA and FA not to take any action against the club is probably what burns the most, more than what actually has been said,” he added.

"The club didn’t get fined and I got myself investigated for my reaction. The PFA investigation really just disappeared and it went to a point where I went two months without playing football.

“Fans need to take a step back and really look at it. They pay to come and the boys give their all. If somebody came into their work and started slating them they wouldn’t like it.”