always commented on pieces of me - my hair, my colour - no one ever
said anything nice about the whole of me.'
Growing up surrounded
by white faces in Welwyn Garden City in Hertfordshire, David James was
the only non-white child at his junior school. 'I was called a coon and
a black bastard,' he says.
'I lived with my white mum so I couldn't go back to an ethnic home and
relate the experience. At school I was asked if I was adopted. I got confused
and I'd go home and ask my mum if I was divorced.' David believes that
there was a direct correlation between bullying because of his mixed-race
background and his low self-esteem. 'Trying to break records in goal was
all about proving that I was valuable.'
David also had a problem with the term half caste saying:'Being described
in fractions is like being seen as abstract parts. It was a subtle prejudice
that I felt,' he says, 'but people always commented on pieces of me - my
hair, my colour - no one ever said anything nice about the whole of me.'