Young fought racism with goals
England winger Ashley Young has revealed how he learned how to "block out" racist abuse at the age of 11.
Young: Spoke out about racism
The England star could remember today exactly how old he was when he was the victim of the the worst racism he had ever suffered.
Astonishingly, it was not during September's European Championship qualifier in Bulgaria, where he was subjected to disgraceful monkey chants.
Rather, it was a Sunday league game 15 years ago when he was abused by an opposition player.
"I was 11 years old and was racially abused on the pitch," Young recalled.
"It was obviously disappointing to hear it at such a young age.
"You don't expect to hear it at any age, but when you're a youngster even more so.
"I turned around, got on with the game and managed to score two goals."
Young would not be drawn on whether that - or walking off in protest - was the best response to racist abuse as he prepared for a Euro 2012 tournament that has already been marred by two episodes of monkey chanting.
"It's one of those things we shouldn't be sat here talking about in this day and age," Young said.
"It shouldn't happen. It does happen."
It could easily happen again to Young in Poland and Ukraine but the 26-year-old was confident UEFA would deal with it, as they did in Bulgaria.
"I had to block it out in that game and get on with it," he said.
"UEFA dealt with it and Bulgaria got fined."
A paltry £34,000, not exactly "zero-tolerance".
"The fines aren't up to me," Young said. "It's down to UEFA. And how they deal with it. That's all I can say about it."
European football's governing body have instructed referees to halt, and even abandon if necessary, games where racist abuse takes place.
But UEFA president Michel Platini also warned on Wednesday that any player who walked off the pitch in protest would be yellow carded.
Football Association chairman David Bernstein said on Saturday: "I saw Michel Platini three or four weeks ago.
"He assured me - and it has come through now - that they have instructed the referees what to do if there are incidents, in terms of taking players off the pitch and so on.
"It is really down to the referees. I don't want to get into a situation where we are taking arbitrary decisions.
"We will rely upon the referees to adhere to the instructions they have been given by UEFA to watch for these things carefully and act if necessary.
"We sincerely hope that won't be necessary.
"I am not looking to make any dramatic interventions."
Young was unsure how England's players would react if they were racially abused.
Asked if they might walk off, the Manchester United man said: "Who knows? Hopefully, it doesn't happen and UEFA deal with it before a decision has to be made.
"You don't want to put up with things like that but it is for UEFA to deal with.
"I am sure they would do in the right way. We will see what happens.
"If it happens, I am not too sure what we would do."
UEFA yesterday acknowledged Holland's black players were the victims of monkey chants during a training session on Wednesday, while it emerged this afternoon that Czech Republic defender Theodor Gebre Selassie suffered similar abuse in his country's defeat to Russia last night.
There have been fears about racism in Poland and Ukraine ever since they were named co-hosts of Euro 2012 and the families of black England stars Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain have refused to travel to the tournament for that reason.
Asked about his own family's plans, Young said: "I am not going to comment on that. It is a private matter."