JAMAL Campbell-Ryce has revealed some of the vile racism he received during his playing career - and how he used it to drive him on.

The former Southend United winger, who has just announced his retirement after a successful playing career spanning nearly two decades, says he experienced racism ‘on many occasions’ during his time as a player.

But Campbell-Ryce felt it made him more determined to succeed.

“I’ve experienced racism on many occasions, throughout my career,” said the 37-year-old.

“You have to think about how bad it was for the pioneers like Cyrille Regis and Viv Anderson who really, really went through racism and paved the way to make it OK for people like me when I was coming through.

“It wasn’t as bad but I still suffered it and all the rest of it.

“I’m lucky enough that I’ve got thick skin and those racist comments and remarks and abuse that I was getting and all the rest of it spurred me on to be even better.

“Now it’s brilliant that racism that happens now is being so scrutinised and hopefully the small minority are punished in the right way.

“It’s not nice but I feel sorry for those people who are that uneducated.

“We’re in 2020 now and they’re still doing the same thing that happened centuries ago and all the rest of it - it’s sad.”

And Campbell-Ryce - who made 69 appearances for Blues - feels it is essential that the momentum created by the Black Lives Matter campaign continues.

“It’s been a fantastic change over the last few weeks,” said Campbell-Ryce.

“What the players have been standing for has been superb.

“I just hope that this continues to progress.

“I’ve been playing for 20 years and the amount of times before a game where I’ve thrown on a ‘Kick It Out’ t-shirt but there’s no real meaning behind it.

“Now it finally seems as though something is finally being done and the momentum is great but that has to continue and hopefully it does.

“I don’t want it to just be in this period of what’s happened in America and George Floyd and Covid where everything has been really scrutinised.”