On Sunday, January 31st, the news broke that Chelsea captain John Terry would be leaving the club due to his contract not being renewed, after an 18-year career at his boyhood team.
The Blues legend made the announcement after the 5-1 win at MK Dons in the FA Cup 4th round. In his statement Terry goes on to say “It’s not going to be a fairytale ending, I’m not going to retire at Chelsea.”
Terry, 35, made his debut for Chelsea in 1998, at the age of just 18 and went on to first captain the Blues in 2001 when he was 21. He was then appointed team captain soon after for the 03/04 season under Claudio Ranieri, taking over from French World Cup winning central defending partner Marcel Desailly after he left the club. Terry went on to have a glittering career for the Blues, winning the Premier League title four times, the FA Cup five times, the League Cup four times, the Champions League once and the Europa League once.
The former England captain divides opinion, due to problems with his personal life in the past, but no one can deny his ability as a player. Least of all the Chelsea faithful, who watch their captain week in and week out putting his body on the line for their team. The banner titled ‘Captain, Leader, Legend’ with a picture of the man himself next to it, hangs down from the Matthew Harding stand very aptly. As the man who’s given so much to the club will be remembered by all of the fans, old and new, who enter the stadium and see their hero’s legacy hanging from the clubs most iconic stand.
Last season Terry achieved the feat of playing in every minute of every game in a title winning season, something that has only been done once before by Manchester United’s Gary Pallister in the 92/93 season. This underlined his worth to the team at the age of 34, putting in consistent winning performances and even when the title was won, he still wanted to play and demonstrate the passion needed to play for a club like Chelsea.
Many will say that was the centre-backs best season for the Blues, and less then one year on, the club have decided not to renew his contract. While it is being reported that the club are still undecided on whether to offer their captain a new deal, many will be hoping the tide changes and the 35 year-old stays.
Terry, now the Premier League’s top scoring defender with 40 goals, is adored by the clubs fans, who will be further disappointed following this, in the same season which has seen Chelsea legend Jose Mourinho relieved of his duties. The rebuilding process that will need to be undertaken next season has been made even more difficult, the appointment of a manager and a new club captain is a huge task.
Plenty of the fans will point the finger at Chelsea’s Technical Director Michael Emenalo, who earlier in the season described there to be a “palpable discord” between the players and Mourinho, he also has a big say in player contracts and would play a pivotal role in offering the Chelsea skipper a new deal.
The fans will always remember Terry as the spear head for the most successful spell in the clubs 111 year history. He will continue to give his all for the club to be successful this season and we all hope he can go out on high.