READING FC winger Garath McCleary warns more must be done to stamp out racism in football.

McCleary was the subject of racist abuse by a Bradford City fan at Madejski Stadium in March 2015.

Racist comments were aimed at Royals’ winger as he went to take a corner in his side’s 3-0 FA Cup quarter final victory in which McCleary scored one goal and set up another.

A 36-year-old man sitting in the away end was arrested during the game and later hit with a three-year banning order and a six-week custodial sentence, suspended for a year.

But McCleary, who attended the hearing at Reading Magistrates’ Court, believes tougher punishment needs to be dished out in order to clamp down on the perpetrators.

On Tuesday Chelsea suspended four people from attending matches pending an investigation into the alleged racial abuse of Manchester City and England star Raheem Sterling during a Premier League clash last Saturday.

McCleary, 31, said: “It happened to me against Bradford as I tweeted a few days ago.

“It (racism) clearly hasn’t been eradicated from the game when many people may have thought it had.

“In my case, the fan who said what he said to me got a three-year ban which I don’t think is enough.

“If you are banned you can still wear a hat or whatever and get into a game.

“When it happened I told the linesman who, to be fair, was fantastic. He did really well and reported it to the officials straight away, so it was dealt with swiftly.

“I just don’t feel the ban or the fine given was enough. Going forward I think more needs to happen like education.

“The humiliation of being re-eductaed in a community in which you have been dishing out racist abuse could help in some way.

“I just don’t feel what happened with Bradford was enough.”

Reading Chronicle:

Raheem Sterling in action for Manchester United against Chelsea last weekend. Picture: Clive Rose/Getty Images.

He added: “I saw a documentary with Ian Wright called ‘Out of their Skin’ and it was a lot worse back in the Seventies, Eighties and Nineties.

“But it still hasn’t been eradicated.

“The fact it happened to Raheem Sterling in a massive game has highlighted it all again, but it still goes on a lot lower down the divisions and everywhere really.

“People say it’s been eradicated, but I know it hasn’t. I know a few team-mates who it’s happened to as well, but I won’t go into that.”

Meanwhile, McCleary has admitted the timing of Paul Clement’s dismissal last week took the Reading squad by surprise.

It means caretaker boss Scott Marshall will be in charge of his second fixture tomorrow when Royals take on fellow strugglers Rotherham United at New York Stadium (3pm ko).

McCleary, who along with Chris Gunter has now seen off seven different Reading managers, said: “A meeting was called and when he told us there was shock across the group. Nobody expected it, especially at that time. I suppose it’s the nature of the beast.

“I went to see him personally to thank him for the way he treated me personally.

“We’ve seen a few managers go along the way and a few takeovers as well. At this moment, nothing really surprises us.

“We’re on a bad run at the moment but we have to stay positive and believe our fortunes will change.

“It’s been tough. There have been a lot of games where we haven’t had the rub of the green and others where we just haven’t been good enough.”

He added: “Training has been positive this week and Scott has brought a new way of playing. It’s been tough but the boys have enjoyed it.

“Hopefully we can take that into Saturday and pick up points.

“Anything can happen in the Championship so we will always believe in ourselves.

“We’ve got a big squad and I can imagine it must be hard for a manager to juggle all those players.

“But you need competition and we’ve got that in every area. It’s up to Scott now to look at training and past performances and pick a suitable team.”

Strikers Jon Dadi Bodvarsson and Scott Marshall could both be involved at Rotherham after returning from injury.