Former Manchester United midfielder Quinton Fortune claims the "lowest point" of his life was when he was racially abused by a team-mate while playing in Spain.
The former South Africa international, now an assistant manager of United's under 23's, has revealed he suffered racist abuse from a senior player while at Real Mallorca.
The 43-year-old also believes more needs to be done to increase the number of black coaches and managers in English football.
Prior to joining United in 1999, Fortune was a youth team player at Tottenham before he moved to Spain, where he had spells with Mallorca and Atletico Madrid.
"I've never spoken about this much but the lowest point in my life was in Spain," said Fortune in an interview with Sky Sports.
"Not just as a football player, but as a human being.
"I was signed with Atletico Madrid and they loaned me out to Mallorca. My own team-mate racially abused me in training.
"I didn't know what to do. I was 17 or 18, I didn't know who to turn to, I didn't speak the language, and of top of that the manager didn't communicate with me.
"I had no support. I was just told to sit on the side of the pitch.
"I never prayed so much in all my life just to get away from that club.
"I'm sure many players went through worse experiences but that for me was the lowest point because I had no mum or dad or brothers or anyone to turn to.
"This guy is a senior player in the team and he was saying all these things to me.
"Luckily for me, I got out of there. When I went back to Madrid, I was so happy, just to get out of that environment.
"I made some very good friends in Madrid and carried on with my football.
"I'm sure many players went through more difficult (experiences) but you need support. It needs changing. It needs education."
Fortune is in the process of getting his UEFA pro licence and says he's been encouraged by the Premier League clubs support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
However, he says there needs to be more black coaches and managers in English football.
"All the clubs, I take my hat off, the way they've approached this and the support they have given," he said.
"Around 34 percent of players in the Premier League are black, maybe more, but when we look at coaches right around the Premier League and Football League, six percent are black coaches.
"I'm all for the Rooney Rule. It's a great step forward in terms of giving BAME coaches the opportunity to have an interview. That's progress.
"Any club can have diversity, inclusion, but you need to have a target. For the next 18 months, I want to see four or five black coaches in the Premier League.
"But not just in coaching, board members as well. You need to put them in a position where they can learn.
"It will be brilliant for the game because different minds, different ways of looking at things.
"It will inspire people from BAME backgrounds to see someone they can identify with.
"When I saw Nelson Mandela become president after 27 years in prison, I felt anything was possible.
"When I came over to this country (England) in 1991, my former team-mate at Tottenham, Neale Fenn, gave me a book about Pele.
"He won the World Cup aged 17 and when I read his story, he came from same background as me.
"It is important to have diversity and I would encourage every club to do it, but the next step is keeping those black and Asian players there for a long period of time.
"Put them in positions of leadership and then see what happens. That's real change.
"Les Ferdinand, look at what he is doing as director of sport at QPR.
"I think Chris Hughton was the last black manager in the Premier League. You need more.
"It is not possible to have 34 per cent of players being black and no black coaches. You need real change."