Former Chelsea and Aston Villa defender John Terry retires
Chelsea legend John Terry has retired from football.
The 37-year-old took to social media this evening to announce that he is hanging up his boots.
Former England captain Terry was most recently on the books of Aston Villa, who he left at the end of last season after their Championship playoff final defeat.
He came close to joining Russian side Spartak Moscow last month, but backed out of the deal.
Writing on Instagram tonight, he said: “After 23 incredible years as a footballer, I have decided 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 – couldn’t have done it without you, I love you with all my heart.
“I thank my parents for the sacrifices they made for me as a boy, giving my the best opp to fulfill 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 tremendous bond with them. We achieved so many great memories together and I couldn’t have succeed 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. They also helped me achieve my boyhood dream of playing and captaining for 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 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. 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 spent two decades at Stamford Bridge prior to his exit in 2017. He won five Premier League titles, five FA Cups, five League Cups, a Champions League and a Europa League during his time with the Blues.