CELTIC legend Henrik Larsson has told of his own experiences of racism during his childhood. 

The former Hoops striker revealed his personal struggles as a youngster and backed calls to rid football of "the evil". 

Larsson, 48, told how his family deliberately picked a Swedish surname despite his father being born in the Cape Verde Islands.

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The Swede also suffered racism at school while growing up in Helsingborg because the majority of other children were white.

He said: "Hating people because they are black, I mean, I don't understand that.

"I will never understand it.

"When you're good at something people tend to forget your colour.

"My father is from Cape Verde Islands and instead of taking my father's name they decided I would take my mother's name.

"That was a way to protect me, which is wrong but that was the climate back then.

"It's just a shame that they had to think that way and what it would mean for me to have a foreign name or a Swedish name."

Larsson revealed his heartache to the official UEFA website when backing their 'Say No To Racism' campaign.

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He added: "We need to start educating our kids first and foremost because it starts there, it starts with you as a parent

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"All the different campaigns we have, don't forget them, remember them.

"If we're going to have a chance to beat this huge problem we have in the world and in the end hopefully eradicate it.

"The evil will never beat the good."