Premier League Legends: John Terry

Time to go down memory lane and remember England’s legendary defender John Terry, or how the Chelsea fans used to call him “Captain, Leader, Legend”.

John Terry was born on 7 December 1980 in Barking, London. His love for football started out supporting Manchester United as a young kid.

Terry attended the Eastbury Community School, where he played for their local Sunday league team Senrab. The team at the time also featured future Premier League stars Sol Campbell, Jermain Defoe, Bobby Zamora, and Ledley King.

In 1991, at the age of 11, John Terry joined the West Ham Football Academy where he spent three years before joining Chelsea. Terry began his career in football as a midfielder, but due to a shortage of central defenders that he was moved to center back while playing for Chelsea’s youth team.

He made his professional debut for the Blues in October 1998 as a late substitute in a League Cup tie with Aston Villa. In 2000 Terry spent a brief period on loan at Nottingham Forrest and became a regular first team player after his return to Chelsea.

On 5 December 2001, John Terry captained Chelsea for the first time, in a League match against Charlton Athletic. He was only 21 years old but was already a mature football player ready to lead his teammates on the pitch.

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Terry was one of the greatest leaders ever seen in English football. He was named Chelsea captain at the start of the 2004-05 campaign by Jose Mourinho, following Marcel Desailly’s retirement and proudly wore the armband in the next 13 years.

He was also appreciated as a strong, commanding and physical defender, who possessed excellent tackling skills and ability to read the game. Terry excelled in the air both defensively and offensively, as he scored 74 goals for club and country in his career.

In his first year as a club captain, Terry led the club to the Premier League crown, the first one in 50 years in Chelsea’s history. It was the first of five Premier League title the Blues won under the captaincy of their legendary defender.

John Terry had the chance to clinch the first ever Champions League crown for Chelsea, but his standing leg slipped as he took, what would have been the winning penalty kick in the shootout against Manchester United in 2008. The ball only hit the post, as the Red Devils later won the shootout 6-5, with Nicolas Anelka missing the final kick.

Four years later, however, John Terry and Chelsea finally won the Champions League in a dramatic final against Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena. The defender also lifted the FA Cup five times, the League Cup three times, as well as the UEFA Europa League in 2013.

He spent his final season at Aston Villa and retired from professional football in October 2018. John Terry now works as a member of the coaching staff at Villa, as he goes head-to-head with Frank Lampard’s Derby County in the play-off final for a Premier League promotion on May 27.

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