Sol Campbell has pleaded with Tottenham fans to stop the constant abuse thrown at him and questioned the humanity of those who call for him to die.

Campbell’s free transfer from Spurs to Arsenal in the summer of 2001 was the ultimate betrayal in the eyes of Tottenham fans.


(Photo by Visionhaus)

Not only was the centre-back the Lilywhites’ captain at the time but he had also lied to the supporters about his intention, and chose to move to the Gunners despite having other options on the table.

Spurs fans have understandably never forgiven Campbell for his actions, with supporters still referring to the 48-year-old as ‘Judas’, with some continuing to chant some ghastly songs about him to this day.

The former Tottenham and Arsenal man has now suggested that those who sing such chants have forgotten what it means to be human.

He told The Guardian: “It’s almost as though people have forgotten how to be human. Wishing and hoping that someone is going to die? And you’re going to be having a party? What world are we living in?

“I know football has its tribalism but if no one around feels that this is unacceptable … well, we’re in a really sorry place.

“It’s as though I’ve become a caricature, that I’m not a human being any more. It’s like some folklore song, people around the campfire, passing on the stories from old to young. ‘Let’s talk about this, let’s sing about this.’

“We are talking about nearly a quarter of a century [since the transfer]. Where are we going as human beings if someone cannot move on? I don’t think people realise how hurtful the hate and vitriol is to me. I get the situation but it’s been such a long time.”

Campbell explained that he is fearful that his three children – Isabella, Ethan, and Georgiana will be affected by the way he is treated.

When asked if he has taken them to any football matches, he responded: “No, never. It’s just the culture around the game. You want to protect them and you never know. I don’t want to go to a match and have someone who is not a fan of that particular club suddenly say something for no reason.”

Campbell also narrated a recent story from the summer of 2021 when he was in Rome as a talkSport pundit for England’s European Championship quarter-final against Ukraine.

The former Spurs man revealed that he and his colleagues were having lunch at a restaurant when a man started to hurl abuse at him.

Campbell said: “He was English, with his girlfriend and he couldn’t have been more than 25. It was ‘Judas’ and … blah, blah, blah. He filmed it because he thought I was going to do something. I didn’t do anything.

“Sometimes I do think: ‘Am I going to bump into someone who is going to shout rubbish at me?’ It’s got a lot less, don’t get me wrong. But I still get randoms … taxi drivers, builders or whatever. It happens. Of course, it does.”

The former England star suggested that he might have not made the same decision that he did back in 2001 if he was a bit older at the time, and he pleaded with Spurs fans to offer him a clean slate.

He added: “I was a young boy when I signed for Arsenal. I didn’t have a family. It’s a different story if I had kids. I might have thought differently. I don’t know. Maybe if I was 30 or 35, I’d have thought differently. But I was 26.

“That’s not me now. Who stays the same every year or over every five years … let alone 22 years? I’m not 48 making that decision. For me, it’s a plea. I want a clean slate. Look into your hearts, look into your souls and give me a clean slate. Take me out of the caricature and see me as a human being.”

Spurs Web Opinion

Campbell’s betrayal was quite despicable but as someone who only started supporting Spurs in 2005, I am not as scarred by his actions as the fans who lived through the episode and felt betrayed and embarrassed.

However, people have done a lot worse than Campbell has and I for one can never condone throwing unacceptable forms of abuse at him, especially when they see him in a private capacity like in a restaurant or in a taxi.

Have something to tell us about this article?

Keep up to date with all the latest Tottenham news and opinion by following SpursWeb’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.