To Chelsea, John Terry will always be the ‘Captain, Leader, Legend’. He was their player – the lone survivor of a youth system that is no longer recognisable, churning out loan fodder for profit.
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He was one of the best central defenders in the modern Premier League. In fact, Blues fans have a strong case to say he’s the greatest ever.
His trophy cabinet doesn’t lie. Four Premier Leagues, five FA Cups, one Champions League and a Europa League are the rewards for a captain who evolved from kid to man at Stamford Bridge – leading a bunch of incredible players to honours during his 19-year stay.
Now it’s entered the final chapter. It’s admirable that Terry's stayed put (although he would have been mad to leave given their success under Roman Abramovich) and bows out in the hearts of Chelsea fans forever.
HIS CONTROVERSIAL PAST
To the outsider, John Terry will be remembered for altogether different reasons.
His past is unavoidable. We’ve all got to live with our demons – and his have been exposed and chewed over in the public sphere for years due to his elevated status.
The Anton Ferdinand racism row was a disgrace and will permanently stain him. The Wayne Bridge allegations, which he has long denied, also did little for his character. But the worst thing about that second incident was the Chelsea fans booing Bridge, turning the alleged victim into the guilty party.
And that’s part of the problem. Terry is far easier to loathe due to his association with a select group of supporters who have consistently overlooked – and sometimes celebrated – his sins. He didn’t do anything wrong as a footballer, he wasn’t disrespectful to the badge, so the incidents were glossed over within the club's circle.
Some fans think the benchmark for turning against one of their own players is murder, with their ignorance only increasing the negativity towards Terry from outside the club. Sure, there were probably many Chelsea fans left with a bad taste in the mouth over his transgressions, but it’s far easier to stay quiet and support the team while Terry was doing a good job.
…BUT IT’S NOT ALL BAD
We’ve got to remember John Terry the young adult was very different…
Read the full article on eurosport.co.uk: John Terry: Captain, Leader, Legend… or Mr Controversy?