A Tribute to John Terry
Captain, Leader, Legend
That is what John Terry is. One of the greatest players in Chelsea history, John Terry announced today that he will be leaving the club at the end of the season. Terry was the last remaining member of the dominant Chelsea core that included Drogba, Lampard, Ashley Cole, Ivanovic, and Petr Cech. Most of us will never forget those teams, the teams that won trophies aplenty and ushered in the Abramovich era in exhilarating fasion. Class, style, finesse, dedication, those qualities defined the Chelsea teams of the 2000's, and defined Terry as well. After almost two decades with the Chelsea first team, Terry leaves with a number of club and league records in his possession, including the club's all time record for appearances by a captain and the Premier League record for most goals by a defender. In honour of the legend, I'll be taking a look at 5 moments that defined Terry's playing career.
First Senior Goal
All the way back in the year 2000, when Faith Hill's "breath" was the Billboard song of the year and Kevin Spacey's "American Beauty" won the Oscar for best picture, was the year John Terry opened his Chelsea account with a goal in a FA Cup tie against Gillingham. He would go on to score 66 goals in all competitions, 40 of those in the Premier League. Like mentioned earlier, that is the mark for the highest scoring defender in Premier League history.
First Premier League Title
2004-2005 was a fantastic year for Chelsea, one that would set them up for success in years to come. It was their first Premier League trophy, Jose Mourinho's first Premier League trophy, and the year John Terry was made captain. Chelsea set a Premier League record with 95 points, and to top it off the defending champions the year before were the last good Arsenal team ever, as the Gunners are mostly associated with being a farce these days than an actual contender. Taking the trophy away from them is as good a feeling as any.
PFA Player of the Year
Did I also mention the 2004-2005 season was also the year Terry won the PFA player of the year trophy? Only 5 defenders have ever won this prestigious awared (Terry, Paul McGrath, Gary Pallister, Colin Todd, and Norman Hunter), and Terry was the most recent to do so. This is arguably Terry's highest individual accolade he has received, and it was certainly well deserved as well.
Champion's League Title
In the 2008 Champions League Final, Terry missed a crucial penalty in a penalty shootout as Chelsea lost to Manchester United. 4 years later, the trophy that had eluded him up to that point was finally won, albeit Terry did not play due to suspension. Even if he didn't play, he was there on the sidelines cheering his team on, and his post match celebration pictures became some of the most iconic pictures in club history.
His Last Game
This is a unique pick, but when it does happen will almost certainly be on this list. At the time of writing, there are 6 Premier League games left to play for, along with further FA Cup matches to play. Terry's last game in a Chelsea shirt was back in February for a Cup game against Wolverhampton, and I refuse to believe that will be his last. John Terry must be given one more start at Stamford Bridge before the end of the year, and ideally he will be substituted out so the Chelsea faithful can give him a standing ovation. I already know this moment will give me goosebumps, and will be one I never forget.