He is the Arsenal fan whose sterling work has given fans a voice over the past seven years.

But Robbie Lyle, creator of AFTV, has revealed racism prevented him from taking his father, Aston, to watch his beloved Gunners.

In a powerful ITV documentary, set to be screened tonight, the 48-year-old presenter opens his heart on the fears his 93-year-old Dad had of being subjected to the kind of abuse that kept many black fans away from football.

“It’s one of my regrets,” said Lyle, “that I’ve never been able to take him to a game. He watched so much football on TV and I’m like: ‘Dad, you need to be there.’ I’d have loved to have done that.

“Racism has stolen that experience from me, so the fact that I am able to take my son means I am breaking that cycle.

Lyle admitted regret at not taking his dad to a football match
Lyle admitted regret at not taking his dad to a football match

“Even as I got older and I said to my Dad: ‘I’ll take YOU to game’, he was like: ‘Nah.’

“Growing up, everybody knew that going to football as a black fan meant you were taking your life into your hands sometimes. I think he just felt that there was going to be trouble.”

Lyle, who set up ArsenalFanTV in 2013, won the Football Blogging Awards for Best Male Football Blog. Each month his channel’s videos accumulate nearly 40million views online.

In tonight’s documentary, Football Fans Under Their Skin, he is welcomed by rival fans who describe their experiences of racism and the work that their clubs have done to combat the issue.

Chelsea supporter, broadcaster Rene Carayol, describes his childhood memory of seeing his own father showered with spit from fans around them as they tried to watch a game

Leicester fan Dipak Gohil reveals his own childhood memory of being more concerned about his own fanbase in the seventies than the opposition.

Racism fears stopped Lyle taking his father Aston to watch Arsenal
Racism fears stopped Lyle taking his father Aston to watch Arsenal

Lyle also uses his documentary to highlight another issue that supporters of all clubs face, online abuse.

“With so many people watching our videos, we are bound to get some negative comments,” he goes on. "It’s football. I don’t mind. But it's the racial abuse in this day and age that I find so hard to believe.

“A lot of it is directed at me personally. Sometimes it’s directed at the channel, sometimes it’s directed at players. It’s directed at people we interview. Unfortunately it’s still there. It still exists a lot.

“When I see some of these tweets, people calling me black b ** , black monkey, n * , it makes me feel disappointed that people can still have these sorts of attitudes. It makes me feel angry that someone can hide and fire off this sort of stuff. But then also - and this is not a good thing - I kind of get a bit immune to it. Because I’ve had it a lot throughout my life. And I’ve had it a lot throughout my life in football.”

Case study 1: Dipak Gohil - Leicester fan

Leicester fan Dipak Gohil was racially abused at football as a child
Leicester fan Dipak Gohil was racially abused at football as a child

Leicester fan Dipak Gohil has supported the Foxes for over 40 years.

He spoke of the time he was racially abused there as a child.

He told Robbie Lyle's Football Under Their Skin documentary: “The away fans were the least of your problems. It was your own you were terrified of.

“It was different. In ’72 there was a big influx of Asian people into the city of Leicester. So you’ve got an injection of people from some part of the world that people aren’t really aware of. Then, if you go to football which is the bastion of white blokes doing their thing and you’re 10, you are going to be terrified.

“Half an hour before [one game] I felt this finger on my shoulder. I turned around and it was a gentleman of years. He went on a diatribe, saying: ‘You shouldn’t be here. Go back to your own country. Why are you even at football? Somebody else could have had your place!’

Then this big Geordie fella stepped in front of him and read him the riot act. Ever since then I’ve looked out for their scores. It was an act of kindness that I remember.”

Case study 2: Rene Carayol - Chelsea fan

Chelsea fan Rene witnessed his dad being subjected to disgusting abuse
Chelsea fan Rene witnessed his dad being subjected to disgusting abuse

Broadcaster and Chelsea fan Rene Carayol wept as he recalled the time his Dad took him to a game in the seventies.

“I don’t think I’d slept for weeks waiting for it,” he told Robbie Lyle's Football Under Their Skin documentary. “Mum had got me the blue and white bobble hat. The scarf and the rattle. Walking up to the ground, the place was teeming with people outside the ground singing and clapping. I was holding my Dad’s hand going in.

“But I was too young to realise what my Dad was going through. My Dad was ultra polite. And now, when I look back, ultra subservient.

“He’d move out of the way for everyone. He was used to letting everyone go ahead of him.

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“The game started, the chants started. Calling my dad names. He never said a word. He had one hand in his pocket and the other holding my hand. It was incessant. He didn’t turn around, he didn’t respond. He just stood there.

“People just spat on him. He had jet black hair and it was all over my Dad’s hair. On the side of his face. All over his coat. I just remember leaving and seeing him take out his white hanky to wipe everything off him.

“We left at half time. I held his hand and we left, never ever to set foot in a football ground again.”

Robbie Lyle: Football Fans Under Their Skin ITV 10.45pm Monday.