A FOOTBALL fan claims he was racially abused when he went to watch al match on TV in a pub.

Mo Ghafar, 66, who was born in Egypt and has lived here for 45 years, says he was greeted by a customer giving him a Nazi salute, was jostled as he ordered a drink at the bar and had beer thrown at him.

Police are investigating after he reported the alleged incidents at the King's Arms, in Staplegrove Road, Taunton.

Mr Ghafar and his wife, Betty, 69, of Norton Fitzwarren, had gone to watch the European Champions Cup final in which his team, Liverpool, beat Spurs 2-0.

"It started the moment I walked in with Betty and my neighbour," said Mr Ghafar, a former maths teacher at Kingsmead School Wiveliscombe, and Highbridge's King Alfred School.

"I was given a Nazi salute. I just ignored it.

"But there wasn't a nice atmosphere. It felt intimidating. My wife sensed something wrong.

"Then I went to get a drink and somebody followed me and got up so close I had to push him away.

"After the game, somebody behind me threw some beer down my neck.

"As I was taking my wife out at the end, somebody stopped her. I took her away, put my arm out and said, 'Stay'. I was angry and he knew I meant it."

Mr Ghafar, whose wife taught at Priorswood Primary School, Taunton, said the incidents left him upset for days.

He added: "It was inexcusable behaviour. I felt dirty. These people need educating.

"I felt bad about it for a week, angry, upset, tearful.

"It felt like a bereavement, then it turned to anger. It goes round in your heard - 'Is it my fault or their fault? Should I make a fuss about it?'

"I was the only ethnic minority in the pub, but this won't stop me going into a pub.

"But if I walk in and people look bad at me, then I'll walk out. I'm worried about the possible escalation.

"I've lived here for 45 years, my three sons born here. Betty is from this country.

"No-one should be a victim. This isn't the 70s or 80s, we're moving on now. These people need educating."

An Avon and Somerset Police spokesman confirmed the force is investigating the incident on June 1.

He said: "A visitor to the pub was abused and had a drink thrown over him.

"He reported the incident to us at the weekend and police enquiries into the incident are continuing.

"We're keen to hear from anyone who may have information to help us. Please contact us, quoting reference 5219127896."

Beverley Higgins, landlady at the King's Arms, declined to comment.