The former captain of the England football team, John Terry, has been found not guilty of racially abusing the QPR defender Anton Ferdinand during a vigorous exchange of insults in a match last year.
At the end of a four-day trial, the chief magistrate, Howard Riddle, cleared the 31-year-old Chelsea captain of a racially aggravated public order offence.
Terry left the court shortly after the verdict, making no comment. He was cheered by a small group of Chelsea supporters. Speaking outside the court, his lawyer, Dan Morrison, said: "[John Terry] did not racially abuse Mr Ferdinand and the court has accepted this.
"John would like to thank his legal team for their hard work and his family, friends and Chelsea Football Club for their support."