Friday 30th June will see John Terry’s Chelsea career finally end with his contract set to expire.
After 22 years at the club, 19 of those professional, his time has been filled with success, winning every single piece of silverware that has been up for grabs.
Terry made his senior debut for the club on 28th October 1998, coming on as a substitute, in a league cup tie against Aston Villa.
He began to breakthrough the Chelsea ranks, and in the 2000-01 season, that’s when he really started to become a regular in the side, making 23 starts for the club. That season saw him win the Player Of The Year award.
His off the field attitude was second to none for a player of his age. Cleaning the players boots, to watching them train and getting involved whenever he could.
In December of 2001, Terry’s dream came true, all of his hard work had paid off. He captained Chelsea for the first ever time, and it certainly wasn’t his last.
When Claudio Ranieri came in as manager, he had a big decision to make. Desailly was out of the starting eleven, and a captain was needed to be chosen. That armband fell into the place of John Terry. For the next 13 years, he wore that armband.
The Roman Abramovich era had started. He brought in the dubbed ‘Special One’ Jose Mourinho and he chose Terry to stay as club captain. The central defender captained the side to the clubs first Premier League title and the League Cup. Two years on he did it again, another Premier League medal. What he was achieving at the age of 24, was nothing short of incredible.
Terry’s qualities weren’t just on the field. Off the field, he helped and guided the youth players, showing that it is possible to come through the ranks, regardless of the money in which Abramovich had put into the club.
In 2008, Chelsea got to the Champions League final, a chance to win Europe’s biggest footballing trophy. Terry was given the opportunity to win it, by taking the most important penalty kick in which he had ever taken. It wasn’t meant to be. Terry slipped and his dreams were crushed. Chelsea went onto lose 6-5 to Manchester United.
The following year, Manchester City came calling. New owners meant huge sums of money. Terry stuck with his heart and chose Chelsea over money. Proving once again what the club meant to him.
In the season of 2011-12, Chelsea were doing something incredible. A 3-1 defeat in Naples saw boss Andre Villas Boas be dismissed. A Chelsea legend stepped up, Roberto Di Matteo. Chelsea went on a run in Europe. Going onto beat Napoli at home in the second leg and then beating Benfica which saw them in the Champions League semi-final against Barcelona. Chelsea took a 1-0 lead into the second leg thanks to a Didier Drogba goal. However, the second leg nothing went right for Terry. He was sent off after a collision with Alexis Sanchez, which meant he could miss the final of the Champions League. With a sensation chip from Ramires, and a last-minute goal from Torres to ruin Barcelona’s hope, Chelsea did the unthinkable. Time to face Bayern Munich in their own back yard.
Terry had to sit on the sidelines.
Players had to step up, and in the 82nd minute, it looked all over. A header from Thomas Muller, looked to have wrapped up the game. It was happening all over again. Then Drogba stepped up. With a bullet header into the top right hand corner, he sent Chelsea into extra time. It ended all square. Penalties again. Was it going to be their year?
It was. Didier Drogba tucked away the deciding penalty. John Terry had finally won it.
A year later, it was a disastrous defence on the most illustrious trophy in football. Chelsea were knocked out of the group stages. A third place finish saw them head into the Europa League. Another trophy for Terry was won.
Winning those two competitions, saw Terry lift every trophy that was available to win. That was and still is some achievement.
A spectacular career was over shadowed by off the field antics. He was accused of racial abuse of Queens Park Rangers Anton Ferdinand and his alleged affair with his former team-mate Wayne Bridge’s wife.
He fought on throughout his career, whenever times were high or low. Consequences for his actions saw him retire from international football.
One by one, the legends of the club started to head for the exits. Didier Drogba, Ashley Cole, Frank Lampard and then Petr Cech.
One year later, it was Terry’s time to go.
The club and Terry came to a mutual agreement that it was time to leave the club. The defender wanted to seek regular football after falling out of favour with new boss Antonio Conte with the demanding nature of the new system installed into the Chelsea squad.
He ended on a high, lifting the Premier League trophy for the fifth and final time of his Chelsea career.
His love and passion for Chelsea Football club is, has and will always be there. His dedication for the club has been tremendous. Following Chelsea all around the world when unavailable for selection, supporting and giving his team-mates the backing. Being a true leader
Who knows what his future plans will be. They are expected to be known in the near future once Terry has had discussion with those closest to him. Whether that will be at another club, or retiring and coming back to Chelsea in a coaching role.
John Terry’s Honours –
5 Premier Leagues, 5 FA Cups, 3 League Cups, 2 Community Shields, 1 Europa League and finally a Champions League medal as well.
He made 717 Chelsea appearances, scoring 67 goals in his time. To add to his club career, he made 78 appearances for the national side.
On behalf of all Chelsea supporters across the globe, thank you. You have been a wonderful servant for this club and will be a huge miss. Watching you every week from the stands has been a pleasure, you have always given your best no matter the circumstance.
You will be missed by everyone connected to the club.
You will always be our ‘CAPTAIN LEADER LEGEND’.
Thank you will never be enough.