John Terry has announced his retirement from professional football after four months without a club, with the former Chelsea and England captain being strongly linked with a managerial role at Aston Villa.
In a short statement on his Instagram page, Terry said: “After 23 incredible years as a footballer, I have decided now is the right time to retire from playing.”
‘I thank my parents, Sue and Ted, for the sacrifices they made for me as a boy, giving me the best opportunity to fulfil my dream and become a professional footballer. My brother, Paul, for his help and advice throughout my career – and all my family and friends for their great support.
JOHN TERRY’S TROPHY COLLECTION
5 Premier League
5 FA Cups
3 League Cups
1 Champions League
1 Europa League
PFA Players’ Player of the Year: 2004-05
‘As a 14-year-old, I made my best and biggest decision: to sign for Chelsea Football Club. Words will never be enough to show how much everyone at the club means to me, particularly the fans.
‘Right from the outset they have given me total support, on and off the pitch, and I have a tremendous bond with them. We achieved so many great memories together and I couldn’t have succeeded without you.
‘To me, you are the best fans in the world. I hope I have done you all proud wearing the shirt and the armband.
‘I want to thank my amazing team-mates, coaches, managers and backroom staff, who I was honoured to work with and learn from. They all guided me on my way to playing 717 games for the club I love, and it was a privilege to serve them as captain.
JOHN TERRY IN NUMBERS
19 – Number of years since he made his Chelsea first-team debut
696 – Number of Chelsea appearances
78 – Number of England caps
41 – Number of Premier League goals scored for Chelsea
26 – Number on the back of his Blues shirt
14 – Number of major titles he won as Chelsea captain (4 Premier Leagues, 5 FA Cups, 3 League Cups, 1 Champions League, 1 Europa League)
17 – Age when he made his senior Chelsea debut as a substitute in League Cup game against Aston Villa
6 – Number of times he was sent off in the Premier League
36 – Number of Aston Villa appearances
1 – Number of goals scored for Villa.
‘They also helped me achieve my boyhood dream of playing for and captaining England, of which I am immensely proud.
‘My club career and heart will always belong to Chelsea, but I am grateful for my loan spell at Nottingham Forest in 1999, which was invaluable for my development as a young player.
‘And I also want to say a huge thank you to Aston Villa for giving me the opportunity to play at such a big club and captain it throughout the 2017-18 season. It was a privilege to represent such a renowned football club with great fans.
‘I look forward to the next chapter in my life and the challenges ahead.’
The picture was accompanied by the caption: “THANK YOU.”
Terry left Villa in the summer after they failed to return to the Premier League at the first time of asking, having lost the Championship Play-Off Final to Fulham. But following Steve Bruce’s dismissal earlier this week in the wake of the 3-3 draw with Preston North End , Terry has been linked with a dramatic return to Villa Park alongside Thierry Henry, the current Belgium assistant manager, with Terry set to be the Frenchman’s No 2 if speculation is to be believed.
Villa’s 2-1 defeat against Millwall on Saturday leaves the club in 15th position, four points off the play-off places and 10 points behind leaders Sheffield United.