John Terry has announced that he has decided to retire from professional football at the grand old age of 37.
The former Chelsea captain broke the news via his Instagram account, with a three-leaf statement in which he called time on his 23-year career.
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The statement reads:
After 23 incredible years as a footballer, I have decided that now is the right time to retire from playing.
I have many people to thank. My wife Toni and my two children, Georgie and Summer, for being my rocks throughout my career – I couldn’t have done it without you, I love you with all my heart.
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.
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, in particular 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.
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.
Terry played six times for Forest on loan toward the latter end of the 1999/00 season, so it’s nice to know the club had such a lasting impact on him.
The Captain-Leader-Legend bows out with five Premier League titles, five FA Cups, three League Cups, one Europa League and one Champions League to his name.
You might not like him very much, but goodness only knows was he a truly excellent defender.
To celebrate his passing into retirementhood, we might just go back and watch that final Chelsea appearance all over again – all 26 minutes of it.