John Terry announced on Sunday evening, via Instagram, that he will no longer play football following 20 years in the professional game.
It doesn’t come as much of a surprise after the former Chelsea captain failed to sign for a new club over the summer, despite it being reported that he was close to a move to Spartak Moscow. There were also some rumours linking him to a role alongside his ex-team-mate and good friend Frank Lampard at Derby and it certainly looks as though the 37-year-old will enter coaching in some capacity.
Despite playing his final year at Aston Villa, he is undoubtedly known for the 23 years spent at Chelsea where he played 717 times, winning 15 trophies in the process including five Premier League titles. In that time, he scored 67 goals and the 41 he netted in the English top-flight mean that he is the highest scoring defender in the competition’s history.
Terry retired from international duty over six years ago but he was still a staple in the side with 78 caps and six goals. He wore the armband for his country 34 times and only four players have made more appearances as England captain than the no-nonsense centre-back.
The ‘Captain, Leader, Legend’ got his first taste of first-team action for Chelsea in October 1998 in the League Cup which was soon followed by his first start in the FA Cup later in the campaign. It was during the same season that he played in the Premier League for the first, and second, time but he properly established himself in 2000/01 where he was voted the Blues’ player of the year in May.
Arguably Terry’s most illustrious personal honour came at the end of the 2004/05 season where he received the PFA Player of the Year award following Chelsea’s domination of English football under Jose Mourinho. You’d have to say that the biggest team award he won during his time at Stamford Bridge was the Champions League in 2011/12 even though he was suspended for the magnificent final in against Bayern in Munich.
The Barking-born defender made the FIFPro World XI on five occasions as well as the FIFA World Cup All-star Team in 2006 after his performances in Germany but he and his international team-mates failed to live up to the expectations at each of the four tournaments Terry featured at.
There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that he will be welcomed back at Cobham should he want a coaching job but with a young family, the Chelsea legend may want some time away from the game that gave him so much. If that is his desired choice, then it is definitely deserved. Happy retirement, John.