Tyrone Mings said the shameful racist abuse suffered by him and his black England teammates began even before the start of the match against Bulgaria, and was first heard while the team were warming up.
England’s 6-0 win and Mings’ first appearance for his country was sadly overshadowed by a section of Bulgaria supporters doing monkey chants and making Nazi salutes throughout the match on Monday night .
The game was stopped twice as a result of the taunts but England’s players chose not to walk off and opted to finish the match.
Speaking afterwards Mings confirmed the abuse had started during his side’s warm up in the Vasili Levski National Stadium in Sofia.
“I heard it before I even got to the other side of the pitch for the warm up,” Mings said. “We then spoke about it when we came in after the warm up and, obviously, I don’t need to spell it out.
“I think everybody heard the chants, but we stood together and we made certain decisions.
“Just before half-time we were contemplating coming off the pitch because that was the next step after a stadium announcement but there were a couple of minutes to go to half-time.
“So we thought we’d play the couple of minutes, go into half-time and talk about it then which we did and we made a collective decision.
“Everyone was happy to continue, everyone was happy to see if things improved in the second half and I think it was important that we allowed the correct protocol to be followed and things were better in the second half.”
Mings said he still enjoyed his England debut in spite of the events going on off the pitch.
“I’m immensely proud, it is a dream come true for sure,” he added.
“It is the pinnacle of English football, everybody dreams of representing their country, everybody knows my journey. I was extremely proud and had my friends and family in the crowd, so I don’t think they will let it overshadow this.
“I was absolutely happy they were here tonight and it will be a memory we will talk about for a long, long time – a good memory.”